Sitting Just Quietly

One of Bea’s favorite stories is the one of Ferdinand the Bull, who is content to sit just quietly under a cork tree, smelling flowers. I love it for many reasons – not least is that his mother is an understanding cow who lets him sit just quietly. (A lesson I need to remember.)

hebwnWhat I love most about Ferdinand is his pacifism. Even when he is taunted and faced with death (which would probably have been the more likely outcome of this story), he sits just quietly in the middle of the stadium, smelling the flowers in the ladies’ hair.

What a reminder, in a time when we are constantly reminded that strength is necessary. Our country needs to strengthen its borders; strengthen its foreign policy; strengthen its domestic policy. Our churches need to strengthen their messages; strengthen their programs; strengthen the community.

Growing up, I was taught that Jesus loved children, that Little Ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is Strong!

But I wonder if we’re missing something about the message when we focus on strength? When we forget the fact that Jesus taught about an upside down kingdom of peacemakers and helpers and those who turned the other cheek and offered to walk an extra mile.

I wonder, in a time of fear and wanting to strengthen our values and beliefs, we need to remember to stop, to sit just quietly, to smell the flowers, and to remember that the kingdom of Heaven belongs to the peacemakers?

How do you find strength in peacemaking?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “weak.”

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12 thoughts on “Sitting Just Quietly

  1. I think, as is often, it can be both. Jesus embodied both peace and strength. (I’ve often heard meekness described as power under control). Humans struggle with balance because extremes feel more accessible and walking the tightrope of truth in love is harder than picking sides.

    1. Right? It’s not black or white… I just read someone who said that faith is not math – it’s both/and. Both weak and strong. I guess that’s the beauty of this upside down kingdom, isn’t it?

  2. I thought of that Sunday School chorus too. I think Jesus’ example of strength was far from how we envision it. Another song comes to mind…..’to be like Jesus…’

  3. I love this reminder that strength doesn’t always look like we expect. Sometimes there is more strength in showing love, or in saying or doing nothing than in fighting back. I love how Jesus turns things upside down.

  4. Beautiful thoughts, Annie. Our country exalts strength as good. And it can be. But sometimes, just sitting still is the better thing. When I can help one of my boys calm down after an emotionally intense situation, I find great joy in that. seeing them reflecting their true selves once again is a balm on my own heart. Knowing when to stay calm and when to be strong is a good thing.

    1. That discernment is huge, isn’t it? To stop and assess before we act; to trust God’s timing and pause before we take action. It seems so counterintuitive, but often is so wise.

  5. Ooh yes! So much THIS: “But I wonder if we’re missing something about the message when we focus on strength? When we forget the fact that Jesus taught about an upside down kingdom of peacemakers and helpers and those who turned the other cheek and offered to walk an extra mile.” I’m in the 43 spot this week.

  6. I’ve always loved the story of Ferdinand!

    But I’m afraid I’m not much of a peacemaker – I was one of those rough men who stood ready in the night to do violence” so others could sleep peacefully in their beds. Experience tells me that it was quite the proper thing to do, but it’s a shame that it’s needed.

    And that might be why I identify with Ferdinand; I’d much rather smell the flowers, and be very very happy…but he who would lay a hand on those I protect would soon rue his own birth.

    #1 at FMF this week

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/02/your-dying-spouse-275-i-hope-you-dance.html

    1. I agree. I so wish we didn’t need strength, but as you say, sometimes it is needed. I’m glad I rarely have to make the decision on when it is needed and when a more peaceful way would be better…..

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