In 2014, Esther Gillie first shared this poem with the Northeastern Seminary community. Since then, Esther has successfully completed both her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at the Seminary. The second entry of our Advent blog series invites us to reflect, along with Esther, on the gentleness experienced throughout our lives.
by, Esther Gillie
My compassionate Grandmother,
softly brushing lingering the lips against her Hub’s
thin, blue-veined hand, the one with the stumpy fourth finger,
as he lay dying.
My chivalrous Grandfather,
considerately hoisting Mate up into
the blue truck
with a little push on her derriere
and a loving pat as she settles in.
My tender hearted Mother
slowly teasing the crusty Band-Aid from my skin
without pain or ripping.
My even-tempered Father
patiently unknotting tangled skein of red yarn
without yelling at me for making such a mess.
My sympathetic Sister
carefully coaxing burdocks from my matted hair
without pulling and making me cry.
My loving Daughter-in-Law
soothingly bathing her newborn,
calming his fear and hushing his cries.
My soft-spoken Son
tenderly teaching my grandson to pet
the dog nice without making her growl.
My humble Professor
quietly explaining the theory over and over
with no hint of frustration
until the light dawned.
My godly Pastor
graciously enfolding me in a comforting hug
when my son died and words were useless.
My kind Neighbor
thoughtfully helping in so many ways
when chemo made life a challenge.
God is with us
in these small touches of Gentleness.
May it ever be so.
Dr. Esther Gillie (M.Div., D.Min. ’16) is the Dean of Library at Regent University in Virginia Beach, V.A. and formally the Director of Library Services at Roberts Wesleyan College. Esther’s doctoral dissertation research was dedicated to developing spiritually nurturing resources designed specifically for cancer patients and survivors.