I love my mom. She is seriously one of the best people on the planet. She is the one who has shown me what it is to be meek in its purest form. I remember, as a little girl, watching my mother go about her day-to-day business. It was miraculous to me that no matter what happened along the way, she always had a sparkle in her eye, a bounce to her step, and a kind acceptance that exuded from her very presence.
I, on the other hand, have always had awkward spunkiness coming out of me six ways from Sunday. I have so many memories of me doing or saying something outrageous, and my mother gazing at me in a loving yet long-suffering way. There was never shame from my mother when I did something that broke the mold. Initial shock maybe, followed by the inevitable hand-to-the-forehead motion and a sigh of laughter. I can even hear her words, “Oh, Emily.” She would follow this up with a tight hug, another little laugh and a shrug of her shoulders that seemed to say, “You are straight up crazy, and I have no idea what you’re thinking, but I will love you to the ends of the earth.”
Most people will tell you that a meek person is someone who is shy and reserved and who keeps their opinions to themselves. On the outside, I can see how that might describe my mom. There is so much more to her than that though. Have you ever heard the saying, “Meekness isn’t weakness; it’s strength under control”? That right there fits my mom to a tee, and I think it’s so perfect. I remember one particular time when my mom was really upset about something. I don’t remember why she was upset or who her anger was even directed at. The point is that I watched her take a step back, calm herself, take a deep breath, then move forward in the serene yet assertive way that only my mother could. Even as a child, I was in awe of that ability, and still am to this very day.
When I get angry about something, I tend to fly off the handle and say whatever comes to mind. As you would expect, that tendency gets me into trouble every now and again. I’ve tried to model myself after my mother in this way, and while I’m not always successful, I can tell you that I am a better person for my successes. Those times when I have been able to follow my mother’s lead, living my life with a sparkle in my eye, a bounce to my step, and hopefully exuding that same kind acceptance have been some of the best times of my life. I have zero regrets — even on those days when someone has really pushed my limits and made me angry. When I’ve taken a step back, calmed myself, taken a deep breath, then moved forward in an attempt at the serene yet assertive way that my mother had modeled for me, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I was better for that experience.
Now, I know that we can’t all be quiet and meek. The world doesn’t work that way. We need people who are fiery and opinionated. It’s yin and yang, if you will. The world is really full of fire these days. It is filled with loudness, arguments and opinions being thrown in your face. Anyone can state their opinion on the internet and then partake in a knock-down, drag-out fight with complete strangers over the rights and wrongs of the world. We need more of the other side. We need more people who will find that calm strength under control and decide that winning every fight and having their opinion heard isn’t the most important thing. We need people who will have a sparkle in their eye, a bounce in their step and a kind acceptance that exudes from their very presence. We need people to be meek like my mom.
That is why I try so hard to be like her. It’s not just for my own good; it’s for the world’s own good. If I can find it within myself to pull away from my awkward spunkiness every once in a while and follow her example, then hopefully my children will as well.
That’s how I imagine Jesus was. The Bible clearly describes Him as someone who didn’t feel the need to argue with every person who crossed Him and always make sure that His opinion was known. He clearly wasn’t a pushover either. Look at His behavior during one of His very last major acts as a human on this earth, when He gave His life for us. “And while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23 NASB). Look through the New Testament and watch the way He lived His life every day leading up to that time. Strength under control in every situation was His way. No wonder He tells us that “blessed are the meek” (Matthew 5:5). You obviously couldn’t find a better person to mold yourself after than Jesus. In my opinion, you couldn’t find yourself a much better person here on this Earth to mold yourself after than my mother, who definitely looks to Jesus as an example of how she should live. No wonder she’s so awesome.
I may still have awkward spunkiness coming out of me six ways from Sunday more often than not, but on my good days I’ll be trying my best to be meek. If you see me walking around with a sparkle, a bounce and wafting kind acceptance, then you’ll know it’s one of my good days. Hopefully I’ll be making the world a better place for it. Better yet, hopefully I’ll be inspiring my children and maybe even the complete random stranger to do so as well. For right now, I’ll start with this article and hope that it inspires at least a couple of its readers. Like I said, the world right now is plenty full of fire. Let’s try for a little bit more of Jesus and my mom to balance it all out. Let’s try for a little bit more meek.
Emily Davidson is a classically trained pianist, a stay-at-home mom and a freelance writer for Autism Parenting Magazine and other publications. Her Light + Life articles have included “My Journey of Mourning” in the March 2018 issue. Her husband, Adam, is the lead pastor at the Portage (Michigan) Free Methodist Church.5