Last fall my friends Ben and Melissa added a baby to their family. I was excited for the news, and waited impatiently for the day they would invite me to come see the little girl. As we were sitting around chatting, and watching the baby doing baby-ish things (that is to say, not much of anything but make faces and noises). Ben said, "Do you want to hold her?"
I said, "Well, yeah!"
I have to admit, it had been a long time since I'd held a newborn in my arms; most of my friends have passed the age when they're adding children to the family, so opportunities to hold newborns are few and far between for me.
As I cradled her in my arms, I thought, How different this is from the way I hold my nephew who is four years old! This little girl is so fragile compared to him!
And I remembered a word that crops up in the Bible from time to time: gentleness. Colossians 3:12 tells us to clothe ourselves with gentleness (meekness). Galatians 6:1 instructs us that when we confront someone caught in sin, we must do it gently.
And what does that tell us? It tells us that, like newborn babies, human beings are all fragile. Not, in most cases, physically fragile, but spiritually fragile and emotionally fragile. How we treat one another is a reflection of our understanding that, as Psalm 103 says, we are formed from the dust of the earth, and there is nothing more fragile than that.