Moments of Patience

“Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”

Fire PretzelsI am not a naturally patient person. I like schedules and routines and plans that goes as planned. Today some old friends were visiting from a town several hours away. This couple came to church with us, and we planned to eat dinner right afterwards at our home. We weren’t going to wait for my husband so they could eat and get on the road home. You see, my husband is the bishop at our church, which is like the pastor, and he is often kept after with meetings or interviews, especially at the end of the year. Well, the man decided he would stay at church and wait for my husband, thinking it would only be an extra hour.

Well, my children, my friend and I waited at my home. At first we made the meal. Then we put it back in the oven to stay warm. Then we sat down and waited. We didn’t eat because we expected them at any moment.

It had been nearly two hours, and I was growing fidgety from the Sudafed I was taking for my cold, the restless, hungry children, and the change of plans. Now, at this point, I might typically grow more irritated and stressed. I might become cranky with the kids or silent trying not to be. But something different happened.

I looked at all of us, sitting there around the fire and just went and got a bowl of pretzels and drinks. That simple gesture, while not abnormal, became the catalyst for a silly memory and new resolve. Within just a few moments with a bowl of pretzels and a child’s imagination, they were skewering pretzels on long-forgotten summer BBQ tools, roasting them by the fire, and offering them to us.

My gaze had shifted from me so I could more easily see and meet my children’s simple need. And their child-like curiosity filled their hunger and their boredom. A subtle change of expectation restored our waiting moments with patience.

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