Patience

15 Jun

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

That reference to the Book of Romans is a fierce reminder of how easy it is to feel impatient. Traffic! Lines at the grocery market! Awaiting test results! Watching the corn pop in the microwave! Many things throughout the day require patience.

There are many Biblical statements about patience. The concept is shared in New Testament and Old Testament alike. God wants us to chill! God wants us to calm down and wait. As we wait we can be expectant of his love, mercy and grace.

It. Is. Hard. To. Be. Patient.

Today I went to a gathering of folks on Buffalo’s East Side. We were at a community center just a few blocks away from the shooting site of May 14. We were gathered to talk, have homemade muffins and coffee and to COLOR! Yes, we were all given adult coloring books with available crayons, markers and colored pencils to make our creations. If you have ever seen adult coloring books, then you know that the pictures you are supposed to color are intricate with small spaces to decorate and adorn with the colors of choice. While I have colored along side my grandchildren, this was different. Each tiny space was to be colored and patience was required as I selected my colors and defined my art work. There were 10 of us coloring and talking and laughing and sharing and some of the participants went deeper and shared grief stories from their friends and neighbors. The purpose of the event was not really to color, but rather to be available to one another–some who knew one another and some who were strangers meant to become friends of sorts on this given morning together.

The thing I noticed in the room was patience. We slowly colored our pictures. We carefully listened to each other tell stories or share comments. We took turns with the crayons and markers and pencils with quiet and thoughtful care.

I may never color like that again in that location with folks I was meeting for the first time, but I will remember the calm and soothing feeling of patience in the room. It was not forced or complicated, it just was.

God, please increase my patience and decrease my need to have it now. Help me know that some things just take time. Amen.

2 Responses to “Patience”

  1. Sueb June 15, 2022 at 9:17 am #

    Sounds like a great experience.

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