waiting... ...depth waiting... ...glimpse waiting ...tenderness waiting... ...presence waiting... ...touch ...waiting...
Out of Sight –
This past weekend I wrote about a tiny gray cat that has been hanging around the house. The last time I saw it was on Saturday. I had been putting food out for it hoping to convince it we meant no harm but unfortunately, the neighborhood dogs beat the kitten to the chow. It started raining yesterday afternoon and has been steady since then. Remnants of Hurricane Irma is giving us plenty of water and a bit of wind. My worry, however, is the kitten. Is it dry? Did a neighborhood dog get it? I haven’t seen it since the weekend and I have no idea where it is or what happened to it. So, I wait and see. Hopefully, it’s still hiding under the porch and will come out after the storm passes.
There are people in our lives like the kitten. A storm begins to batter them and they hide, afraid of its downpour and thunder. We long to help them, to show them kindness, to meet whatever needs we can if they would just come out of hiding. However, like the kitten, there are trust issues and perhaps they’ve been hurt before by people pretending to help or they’re used to people taking not giving. What do we do? We wait. If they come out of hiding during the storm we can cover them with acts of kindness. If they wait until after this is fine also. Kindness and love have no expiration date.
Wait and Trust –
Twice today, once by an ambulance and another by a fire truck, I was forced to move over to the far right lane on my way to and from Nashville. Most other drivers did the same and traffic slowed to a crawl until the emergency vehicles passed or exited. The law states drivers are required to get out-of-the-way so those who are on their way to help someone in need can get where they’re going as fast, and safely, as possible.
I try to remember to pray for the unknown victims to which these emergency responders are headed when I encounter them. I also reflected today on the times in our lives when tragedy and unforeseen crises hit. Often times our urge is to hurry and try to fix everything ourselves. However, in many cases the best thing we can do is slow down, get out-of-the-way, wait and trust that help is on its way.
FedEx has a problem. They have packages that were supposed to be delivered by December 25 and, uhoh, today is Christmas. People who ordered their gifts days, week, even a month ago are wondering; “where are the presents I ordered online?!?!” And now Christmas is apparently ruined for thousands of people and families across the globe.
Seems like “first world“, spoiled American, “not really a problem” problems but in our got to have it now, should’ve been here yesterday, drive thru, instant society, FedEx has violated the Cardinal rule of faster is better. Instead of lessons in patience, windows of time to appreciate the bounty of blessings most already have, folks flock to social media, make phone calls, write letters or send emails angrily expressing their displeasure at having to wait. Delayed gratification just isn’t our thing.
It’s Christmas day. This day is the epitome of rejoicing and waiting. Of celebrating what has happened and the anticipation of what’s to come. Perhaps the gift of not having all we seek is perfect for a culture where; “wait” may be the ultimate four letter word.
Blessings of joy, peace and stillness this Christmas day,
On my way to a meeting today I was stopped at a red light waiting, patiently as I could, for it to turn green. From a side street an ambulance and another emergency vehicle pulled onto the road and my focus went from the red light to the flashing ones racing to an unknown destination. They faded from sight and I went back to waiting for the green telling me to go. The light finally changed and I released the brake, pressed the gas and moved forward. However, I noticed that the vehicles on the side and behind me didn’t move. This is when I realized that after the distraction of the red strobe lights my focus went to the wrong traffic light a street ahead of me instead of the one I should’ve been fixing my gaze upon. Slamming on my brakes, trying not to look too foolish, I waited on the correct light to turn green and then slowly proceeded.
Laughing at my ineptitude I also reflected on the importance of keeping our focus. Many times we get distracted by a flashy and noisy world which can lead to unfortunate events, losing our way, embarrassment and regret. Wisdom helps us make sure we know where, why, and when we should move forward and when to wait.
Just outside our backdoor is a large gas tank that provides propane to our house. On the top is a lid that lifts up so the tank can be filled. A few weeks ago a bird decided she would build a nest and hatch her young under this lid. Yesterday I arrived home to find two of the three young birds had fallen out of their nest, unable to get a grip on the smooth round surface and slipped, onto the ground. The mother was flying around, squawking her concern, but had no way to get them back into the nest.
My wife and I sprang into action, scooping up the young ones and finding a new safe place for them. We took the nest, put it into an old flower pot and gently placed the sparsely feathered birds into their new make-shift home. Then we waited…And waited…And waited. In spite of Beth’s pleas to the “Mama” the mother kept her distance not sure our intentions. As the sun was setting the mom still hadn’t reunited with her “kids”. We hoped for the best and went to bed. This morning we cautiously peered out the back window to see the mom had found the nest, was checking out her new domicile and feeding the babies.
Being a rescuer, a helper, taking on the burden of trying to save is a big responsibility. There are times we are met with suspicion or even rebuffed in our efforts. In the end we do what we can, wait and hope for the best.