Is There a Ministry of Waiting?
Cheryl Saur of Round Rock, TX, USA
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28
I am not a very patient person, as my spouse often tells me! He says I need to remember the big “P” word-Patience! I am writing this nine months after I had surgery to repair the ruptured tendon and torn muscle supporting my right shoulder. Of course, I’m also right-handed! I was in so much pain before surgery that I found it very difficult to engage in the spiritual practices that had become a valued part of my spiritual life. My focus and attention were short. Quiet meditation and reading were difficult. I grieved this loss of peace and connection with God. I seemed to be on a never-ending detour and was very frustrated.
After surgery I was free of the pain. What a blessing! However, my time of waiting for the body to heal had just begun: waiting for cells, tendons, and muscles to fuse together again; waiting for sutures to heal and nerves to reconnect; waiting for a fully functioning shoulder to emerge. I was told it could take up to a year for my shoulder to heal. I would just need to be patient and continue to follow the exercises.
During this time of struggle I discovered within myself the need to explore the “detours,” to use the barriers as invitation to explore new paths on the journey into the mystery of who I am in God and who God is in me. I find that by waiting and reflecting with patience, I can embrace a new depth of what is holy and sacred.
Waiting is now one of my spiritual practices. I won’t pretend that I have developed the ability to be a totally patient person. I’m not sure I ever will! I am still working on it and will always remind myself that waiting is a ministry in itself. After all, we are all born of someone’s waiting!
Advent Prayer Phrase
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
Advent Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply and spend a few moments inviting silence to deepen around you. Pay attention to what is forming in you this day as you prayerfully consider the following questions: What awareness or gift begins to emerge in you through the practice of waiting? When do you notice being invited to resist rushing to the next thing and remain present with what may be slowly unfolding? What can you learn from being fully present in the waiting times?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.