Recently a storm named Sandy raced across the eastern seaboard of the United States, inspiring awe in all of us, but I’m still far more impressed by powers like gentleness. Sandy stopped thrashing us after several hours, but gentleness never stops being strong and unshakable. Storms can show us their force for only so long before they fall away into soft breezes, but gentleness just keeps being quietly powerful, for days and years. You can’t split gentleness, or shred it, or bang it till it breaks, because it’s stronger and vaster than winds or the sky. It’s as soft and resilient as water. Drop a stone into a lake, and the lake lets it in and settles back into its timeless even-temperedness, and the gentleness we all share can be just as irrepressible. It’s a power no Sandy can possibly match, this spirited and invincible force, this influential gentleness our hearts hold ready for us to use in the storms of our lives.