The gentleness I knew in him seemed to be calling out, and it was a gentleness in me that answered. That gentleness, calling and answering, giving and talking, brought us together. It brought us into the room of love. It made our place clear around us.Hannah says of the importance of the small investments that come from years of preparation and fidelity in the relationship, "... you may have a long journey to travel to meet somebody in the innermost inwardness and sweetness of that room. You can't get there just by wanting to, or just because the night falls. The meeting is prepared in the long day, in the work of years, in the keeping of faith, in kindness" (p. 110).
I think of how difficult marriage can be, yet it is tenderness, gentleness and caring that we seek inside our marriages, isn't it? As I travel into my 40s, I've found myself pursuing older men who are tender, gentle and caring towards the Lord, their spouses, families and others, so that I might learn from them. I don't know all that grief does in us, but I do think it holds the potential of doing something very significant for us, making us soft and tender people.