The fruit of the Spirit
We read countless “Sayings of the Fathers” that urge us to display the fruits of the Spirit — kindness, gentleness, self-control and all the rest.
And we think how nice they are, and we share them on Facebook and retweet them on Twitter, and think how cool it woould be to live like that, until the next time someone cuts us off in traffic, or causes us some minor annoyance,
Above all, strive to love your neighbour, for in his love consists love for God — St Makarius of Optina.
There is your brother, naked and crying! And you stand confused over choice of floor covering –- St. Ambrose
You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other — St Seraphim of Sarov
So what would it be like if we really behaved like this?
According to my blogging friend The Pittsford Perennialist, someone Just did:
I was on the verge of tears on the drive home hearing this story of “the school shooting that did not end in tragedy” — 911 Call Captures School Employee Talking Down Gunman.
Impressive was the woman’s calm handling of the situation. Heroic was her compassion. After the gunman, showing the light of his God-given conscience, tells her that “he should’ve just went to the mental hospital instead of doing this because he’s not on his medication,” and then mentions suicide, she says
No. You don’t want that. You gonna be okay. I thought the same thing. You know, I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me, but look at me now. I’m still working and everything is okay.
And then, when the gunman puts down his weapon, she says
It’s gonna be all right, sweetheart. I just want you to know that I love you, though, okay? And I’m proud of you. That’s a good thing that you’re just giving up and don’t worry about it. We all go through something in life.
And she perhaps saved the disturbed young man’s life, after she had disarmed him and the cops burst in: “Okay. He just got his phone. That’s all he got is his phone. It’s just him.”
The Philosopher said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”