“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5, NIV 2011).
I was rounding with my house staff on the psych ward, standing in the hallway between rooms discussing a patient with unexplained weight loss. A small group of patients moved between us, excusing themselves as they passed through. One gray haired man with salt and pepper stubble stopped, grasped my two hands and looked directly into my eyes.
“You look like a minister.”
I was silent as he continued, “Meeeeeek.” He drew out the word with his eyes locked into mine.
“Are you a Christian? Where do you go to church?” he asked.
I answered as my residents leaned silently against the wall, watching the exchange with God knows what thoughts.
“Loooowly,” he added, his eyes drawing mine into his, as his friends pulled him away.
I could not help thinking, as I was staring into the grey eyes of this patient on the psych ward, that it might be Jesus confronting me with the words “Meek” and “Lowly”---not in the person of the disturbed man I encountered, but somehow in the encounter.
If so, did I listen?
Do I understand?
Meekness is not a common attribute for healthcare professionals. We like to take charge, always doing it our way, always fixing things. When life attacks us, we strike back. To be meek would be to let life run over us, out of our control.
Perhaps that’s the point.
The meekness Jesus talks about is not a passive acceptance of life’s blows, though it does at times require us to accept such blows with silence. The meekness Jesus talks about is energy-under-control for His purpose, not mine.
If we are meek like Christ, we are like war horses eager for battle, waiting for our Master to loosen the reigns, steady and silent, held by His hand as the noise of battle crescendos around us, not listening to a taunting world, confident that the Master knows the battle plan far better than we.
The world may look upon our meekness and see us as docile, and we may have to live with that a while, for it is not about us. But, in truth, we are not weak; we are meek. As we silently take the blows of the world, we are God’s meek war horses, ready for the loosened reigns and waiting for the Master’s word, “Charge!”---into His battle, not ours.
Let me wait patiently under your hand, ready to charge when you choose.