Patience can be defined as the tolerance of delay.
from thefreedictionary.comWe imagined an easily accomplished afternoon. A visit to the allergist. A visit to the bank. Other errands, and caring for our granddaughters. Our one vehicle requires careful planning of our days. Last Tuesday's needs created opportunity for Jeff and I to juggle a busy schedule.
And so it was easy until I walked out of my doctor's office, picked up the phone, dialed home, and received a "cannot complete your call now; please try again later" message. "OK," I thought. "I must not have a good signal inside the building. I'll step outside and call."
Same number. Same message. Same problem. I couldn't get through. I tried again. And, again. And, again.
I scanned my phone for my son, Steven's, work number. He proved very difficult to reach, but after a long while, I got through to him. He tried to call his dad and got the same "Your call cannot be completed" message. Steven would see what he could do to help me and call me back.
I was stranded for now.
I remembered a hair clip was in my purse, so I dug through the depths of pictures, eyeglasses, papers, book, pens, mints, and everything else and found the clip at the bottom, took it, and put up my hair.
I ignored the looks of the passersby, who were going in and out of the doctors' building.
I thought of walking the three miles home. "If only I hadn't worn these shoes with heals. (They were only two inches, but for me may as well been five.) Why didn't I wear my cushy, black sandals?"
I thought of how my patience span was much less elastic than it had been an hour before.
My cell rang. It was Steven, who said he couldn't leave his job at present, but was sending someone to take me home.
I waited. Longer. And longer, still.
A new problem began to grow in my soul. I felt an urgent choice arise within, as on one hand my flesh begged for permission to be angry, and on the other hand my spirit remembered words hidden in my heart.
I breathed, and prayed. "Father my days were all written in your book before I was conceived. Help me, Lord, to hear you here, in this place, in my now. Holy Spirit, help me to rest in you. To be patient. To do what pleases you. To see in you in this frustrating, passing moment."
Minutes later, still alone, my son called with news that my deliverer was lost. I walked in front of the building and found the address number, so he could call my rescuer and give her clearer directions. Yes, I am one of those people who just might forget to include an address with directions, but please remember my Father loves me anyway.
Several minutes later, a lovely young girl named Stephanie pulled up in front of me. "Are you Steven's mom?"
"Yes!" which was said with a huge, huge, huge sigh of relief.
Realizing my new friend needed gas in her car, I asked her to stop so I could bless her for blessing me. Afterwards, we spoke of her children and the difficulties of being a young mom.
Stephanie glanced at me. "You're different than I thought you would be. I was afraid you would be mad after waiting all that time, especially when I couldn't find you."
My son shared the whys with Stephanie when she arrived safely back to her job. And, I pray God will nurture the tiny, tender seed in her heart with His great love.
I wondered later: "Why didn't I call directory assistance and get a taxi?" Sometimes being a little dull around the edges is a useful tool in God's hands. Truly, His grace is functional in everything great and all things small.
Friends, keep tight in Christ,