What Manner of Man
(A weekly program for knowing and following Jesus Christ)
By Richard M. Eyre
WEEK 43: CALMNESS
As much as the world’s art misses in trying to depict Jesus, one thing it often catches is his supreme and sublime calmness.
As I write I’m looking at a print of a famous painting, and I think calmness is the first thing it portrays. Poetry, too, often feels this element, as in Ezra Pound’s line describing Christ’s departure, untouched from those who came to take him, “as He walked out calm between, wi’ His eyes like the grey o’ the sea.”
The Lord was surrounded by an aura of calm. He calmed and softened and quieted all those with receptive hearts who came close to him. At will he calmed even the elements, the storm and the sea (see Luke 8:24). His words still calm us today, and his Spirit calms us even more so. The sweet peace of his life and his being somehow flows through prayer, through good works, and even off of the printed scriptural page and into our hearts. Often the first thing we truly know about Christ is the calmness of his peaceable spirit.
He was like the eye of a hurricane. The things he taught (and their friction against the world) could strike with the force of wind and thunder all around, yet Christ, at the center, would move in total calm. He was always acting, never reacting—never letting the clamor or clatter or bow-string tension of the world penetrate the flowing stillness of his own soul.
His peace was not fleeting or erratic, but constant. Even his moments of magnificent indignation and powerful righteous wrath did not penetrate his inner peace.
In our world of tension and ragged-edged nerves, books by the million are sold which suggest theories, suggestions, and techniques for achieving calmness. Yet the only pure example is Christ, and the study of his life lays out the blueprint:
- Live a simple life, uncluttered by too many “things,”
- Pray always,
- Love (the absence of fear ) (1 John 4:16-18), and
The Lord Jesus Christ is not only the total example of peace: he is the source, the dispenser, the spirit though which our own calmness can be gained.