The other day, I was riding with my friend somewhere. We were meeting at a parking lot.
I got there 10 minutes early. He was running 30 minutes late.
I figured I should make the most of waiting. I decided to read some of Holy Curiosity, but I like to read when I’m comfortable… laying in bed or sitting on a couch, in sweatpants, sipping either tea or coffee, with my hair thrown out of my face with no regard to how it might look. I was sitting on a curb.
It’s hard to get comfortable when we’re waiting for someone. At first I was going to say when we’re waiting for someTHING, but I really think there’s this uncomfortable aspect of waiting for a person. Maybe it’s just me, but have you ever noticed that when you’re waiting for someone to arrive, you look out your window more in ten minutes than you do in ten days? Even if the house is tidy or your shoes are on and you’re ready to go, you never want to get too comfortable when you’ll be interrupted.
There were a few months last year when my friends, single women, decided to buy houses. I remember talking to one of them and she said “it feels like I’m doing this so out of order. I was supposed to meet someone and get married and then buy a house.” She didn’t want to settle in too much because she was waiting to be interrupted. She didn’t want to establish herself alone because she was waiting for someone. I was so proud of her for being so brave, for getting a “write this in your address book in pen” address while she waited.
Every day I see my friends be so brave while they are waiting. I can’t write enough about the bravery of my friend Donna, who hasn’t been able to have a baby but believes in the God of miracles. She holds babies and celebrates her friends pregnancies, even while praying from the depths of her soul for a child. Another one of my friends also desires to be a mom and she took custody of her cousin’s 3-year-old daughter, going from an independent, single woman to a single mother of a child that looks nothing like her.
Sitting on that curb reading wasn’t comfortable and eventually I walked into the store. I realized Ernie’s birthday is soon and I should send him a greeting card so while I waited, I read birthday cards and laughed at the funny ones (like out loud, by myself… no shame). I picked one out and went back to the curb, where I spent time carefully choosing the words inside a card with two bunnies holding tiny mugs of coffee.
The point is – I don’t think we’re necessarily supposed to get COMFORTABLE. I think we are supposed to get BUSY. When we are DOING SOMETHING, there is less of a burden in waiting because our time isn’t measured by empty spaces of nothing but looking up from the book we’re reading on the curb every time a car drives by.
Eventually my friend showed up, and I hadn’t even realized that I’d been there waiting nearly an hour because I hadn’t sat checking the time on my phone every ten minutes. I decided that he knew my number and could call me when he arrived. In the same way, we serve a God who knows how to get ahold of us when the time is right, and he ALWAYS shows up on time. I think he’d rather find us laughing at cards in the store than sitting uncomfortably on the curb, getting crankier and crankier with each check of the time.