Waiting with Patience
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait—it's how we behave while we're waiting.”
My son's having surgery today—a disc in his neck ruptured, and has to be removed. We've been waiting for a couple of weeks for the surgery to be scheduled. We've tried to go about life-as-usual, and we've more or less succeeded, but we're both people of action. Waiting patiently is not our modus operandi. We do it rather grudgingly, I'm afraid.
This, however, is the season of waiting. Advent—waiting for the coming of the Son, the Light of the world. Waiting for this son of mine to be restored to health has connected me from the heart to women all over the world who are waiting—waiting for the bombs to stop, waiting for food to be available, waiting for a child to come home from war. Waiting for the world to become kinder, easier; waiting for a decent place to live, waiting for a return to normal life. Waiting, waiting...
And how do we behave while we're waiting? We do what we can, when we can. I watched the news footage last night of the people of Aleppo, Syria, leaving their bombed out city—young women, scant belongings perched on their heads, so they could use both hands to hold on to their children; old women, walking with canes, or assistance—just going, they know not where, and praying for an Advent, a coming of the Light. Putting one foot in front of the other, they do what they can.
Patience while waiting is a product of trust—trust in God, trust that the goodness of humanity will somehow prevail. Trust that love and kindness will win over hate and greed. Trust that we can handle whatever comes. We will not find trust or patience outside ourselves, but we can find them within. The Light of Advent is found in one's own heart. In the best of all worlds, it is reflected back by the light of others, who are also patiently waiting.
In the Spirit,