Strong doesn’t have to mean rigid. There is extreme strength in the wind, in water. Water is such a powerful force, and yet it is vulnerable, flexible, soft, open, life-giving.
Strength isn’t just rock solid. Muscles. Brute force.
It’s intense compassion.
Forgiveness is one of the strongest and most vulnerable forces in the world. So relenting, so humble, so unassuming. Yet it requires a rock-solid foundation of love, the ability to stand tall and unbending in the face of cold-hard facts.
The most powerful and essential qualities of physical and spiritual nature exist in this seeming dichotomy. Mighty yet delicate. Overpowering yet fragile.
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” The spiritual skills of love, compassion, forgiveness, humility have been relegated to the role of people with no backbone because they’ve been portrayed in binary terms as being weak.
Let’s redefine strength to include the ability to bend, to bow humbly, to let go. All the while maintaining our ability to stand tall in the mighty wind and to fight fiercely in pursuit of our calling.