If love is patient…

The Bible teaches that Love is patient.

Have you ever turned everything off and pondered that idea? The question is one of irony. The reason many of us have never pondered the idea, is many of us are reluctant to turn everything off, and that’s because we are so impatient.

Have you ever sent an email and been annoyed a reply wasn’t instantaneous? Have you ever driven like a fool to sneak under a yellowish-red light? Have you ever been irritated at a child who didn’t understand something you think they should have mastered by now?

This is from Helen Keller, in the midst of praise for her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

This process was continued for several years; for the deaf child does not learn in a month, or even in two or three years, the numberless idioms and expressions used in the simplest daily intercourse.

Helen is speaking of Miss Sullivan’s persistent spelling of sentences into her student’s palm, to teach the art of dialogue. Even before Helen comprehended the words, Miss Sullivan “suggested conversation” to model verbal intercourse… for years.


Abstract ideas were the most difficult for Miss Sullivan to communicate to Helen. It’s one thing to place a doll in her hand, then spell D-O-L-L in the palm of her other, until she makes the connection. But how does one communicate an idea that cannot be touched or tasted?

“What is love?” I asked.

She drew me closer to her and said, “It is here,” pointing to my heart, whose beats I was conscious of for the very first time. Her words puzzled me very much because I did not then understand anything unless I touched it.

What Helen didn’t realize then, was that she touched love every time Miss Sullivan spelled a word in the middle of her palm, P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E.

If love is patient, what is impatience?

What are we saying to others when we huff, tap our toes with agitation, repeatedly look at the time, complain that it takes three seconds for a website to open, or avoid talking to the man with Cerebral Palsy because it takes so long for him to speak?

Don’t we do that?

What does it say about us?

How can we change?

Love is patient.

Can I offer a few ideas?

  • Invite a friend to an “untethered lunch” – no cell phones, no tablets, no TV’s. Ask them how their life is going, and then listen.
  • Schedule 30 minutes totally free of distraction. Just you wrapping your mind around the truth, “Love is Patient.”
  • Perform a self-analysis of your impatient tics – tapping, loud sighs, eye rolling, etc. Then work to eliminate them forever.
  • Give yourself technology boundaries. For example, no technology before 8:00 AM, or on your lunch break, or after 9:30 PM, whatever. We’ve become slaves to the “urgent,” and technology often makes us aware of the “urgent” needs. The email can wait. You can re-tweet tomorrow. Someone else can help your friend complete their fast money round on Family Feud with Friends.
  • Pick up a copy of The Story of My Life and keep it on your person. When you get stuck in a waiting room or your ride is late, read your book instead of answering facebook messages or commenting on pictures. It’ll be OK, I promise.
I think we would all like to be more loving. We can begin by developing patience.
Love is patient. The Bible also teaches, “God is love.”
Your quest for patience begins with a quest for God. He’s been patient all these years, spelling His love into your hand. Perhaps today this beautiful truth will burst upon your mind and, like Helen, you’ll be able to see.

One comment

  1. It’s a sad irony of life…the technological advances that were supposed to make our lives easier and allow us more time for our families have made our lives more hectic and taken away from family time. We try to “disconnect” as often as possible, if even for a 30 minutes, and we do try to not use too much in the way of being connected after a certain time of night.

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