I do not like waiting — for anything. I was even impatient for my babies to be born. Seven out of eight of them arrived early. Most people I know struggle with the virtue of patience. In our techno-orientated world, this is probably truer than ever. A few seconds waiting for the computer to load can set our foot tapping and strain our nerves. But waiting can lead to holiness — if we allow God to sit with us and open our hearts and minds to His presence.
God seems to have a particular love for patient souls. At times, it seems like He upsets our schedules just to allow us the opportunity to wait — to slow down — and perhaps to listen. Using His omnipotent power, He denies His rights and allows us to accept or reject Him. He waits. In silence. For us.
I started my fifth-century novel, Melchior, while my husband struggled with Acute Leukemia. There was a lot of waiting in that journey. Waiting in doctors’ offices. Waiting for tests results. Waiting for the next … whatever. It was a fear-filled waiting. We were in serious need of good news, something to lift our hearts and souls toward a light in the darkness.
In the very beginning of Melchior’s story, God offers him a vision, a glorious verse of hope. As a Catholic widower with a large family, struggling to keep his faith alive after the influx of Anglos and Saxons, he needed a bit of encouragement. His vision offers that—for a while. But then life happens. Life always happens.
Melchior’s neighbor is murdered, his son is accused of the crime, the king — an ignorant lout by Melchior’s standards — decides he wants to marry his beautiful, innocent daughter, and his sister — who happens to drive him mad — arrives on his doorstep looking for a hug. Could it get much worse?
But then that’s life. Our life. Whenever something goes wrong, and you’re apt to complain, someone sweetly assures you — it could always get worse. Sometimes it does. We have to wade through it. Often, we have to wait through the anguish of our trials and endure our struggles until the sky lightens and a new day dawns. But even in the midst of our tribulations, we are not alone. Not if we shift our obsessive self concerns aside and let God in. Our Triune God offers us a vision, a hope that can sustain us even when the light is vanquished and the world seems an embittered trial. The mystery of our faith, as well as that of Melchior’s vision, means that we don’t get to see our hope laid out perfectly before our eyes. We only get glimpses. Hints of a taunting, provocative, daring hope — a world to come, a life to live, a kingdom that will come.
But for now, we have to wait. But do not wait alone.
Copyright 2017 Ann K. Frailey
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