While my dear friend Grams was dying of cancer, her friends and family would help her, sometimes offering to take her out shopping. She always told them, “No, thank you,” and one day she told me why: “They rush me through the store, but you always wait and let me see what I want.”
Then there’s my parents’ little white dog, Rascal, who runs to the door whenever he hears me in the driveway or letting myself into the house. Rascal is ‘daddy’s doggie’ — unless Linda’s around! But I tell my dad there’s no worry: Rascal just loves me because when I take him for walks, I wait for him to sniff every little thing he wants to investigate.
And, especially, when a grieving son stutters and stammers and swallows his words, trying to get out expressions of love for his mother and his sense of loss at her passing over to heaven, the truest form of sympathy is just waiting, letting him find the words in his heart.
What is it, you wonder, that connects these stories? Through these and other experiences, I have learned that a large part of helping others is simply waiting. Note that I am not saying here that I have learned to wait, nor am I saying that this makes it ok for me to keep other people waiting. What I have learned is that waiting is an important part of helping.
Even God tells us to wait. Psalms 62:5, of God’s inspired Word says, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” (NLT) When we wait on the Lord, he refreshes us, so we can better continue our service to him (Isaiah 40:31).
I planted a group of flowers for my mom, checking each label for the name of that color. The last one was white, so, thinking, ‘well, it’s white!’ I was about to skip the label reading. But just as I turned the flower out of its pot, I saw it: “Espero White.” Espero is Spanish for the first person singular “I wait.” The word also has another meaning: “hope.”
Linda Lee Karanja Sebastian