“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This verse has been my heartbeat lately. Maybe you noticed. I’m trying to take a hard look at my walk and find all the times that I don’t follow this verse, and bring myself into deeper submission to it. The first thing I’ve realized so far is that I’m not nearly as patient as I thought. Oops! But I’m trying.
I might even be improving. I don’t really have a good example today, as nothing’s really happened to try my patience today (thanks Jesus). But here’s a small story: I have auditory processing problems; basically, my hearing is fine but my brain has a hard time figuring out which noises are ‘important’ and which aren’t, so when there’s more than one sound to listen to, I can have a hard time ‘hearing’ what I’m supposed to. I’ve learned to compensate for this and it’s normally not a big deal. Today, however, my roommate’s computer was playing a video (which I’d been watching), then he starts talking to me. But his comment to me was a side note in the middle of his conversation with his aide, and his aide had just turned on the TV. Who to listen to, who to listen to? The obvious answer is my roommate since he was talking to me, but try telling my brain that! I couldn’t really grasp any of the 4 things going on around me. Anyway, he was asking me for something, and I THINK I gave it to him the first time he asked (if he asked a previous time, I definitely didn’t hear it AT ALL). After that, he called me a name to ‘make sure I was listening’. Then on his way out of the room he started telling me things I need to clean and fix. But he didn’t really do it nicely; instead he just looked around going “this ain’t gonna work.” Basically, we had a lot of power being used at once, which is always dicey at our house. A circuit blew, I had to flip it (easy), but then I rearranged some of the plugs so we were using electricity more efficiently. Since I hadn’t yet found a permanent setup, the cords were still out in the open instead of tucked behind furniture. Sorry.
He hadn’t mentioned it at all, but then was short with me about it out of nowhere, on the heels of calling me a name to ‘test’ me, when he KNOWS that’s hard for me anyway. So, I was doing my dishes and getting ready to call him out on this (always cathartic) when I had the thought “love is patient”. “But God, I really want to get this rant out of my system!” “Love is patient.”
Fine. Be that way. I guess I won’t rant then. I’ll admit it, I said those things to God. I grumbled. But in the end, since I did in fact realize my error and need to submit to the ‘love doctrine’, I wasn’t about to ignore it. So, I gave it up. Interestingly, the more I let it go, the more I didn’t need to think about it. And it’s not my call anyway. Who’s to say I’m more important than him? I’m not! Maybe he had repeated himself at dinner (which is annoying for him), and I was so oblivious I didn’t even realize it. Maybe he had a hard time navigating around the cords; he certainly gets stuck on his computer plug a lot. Maybe he was stressed out that he’d missed work today and had to go back tomorrow and catch up, or was stressed about the fact that I’m not going to be home tomorrow night so his aide will have to sleep over and take care of things while I’m gone. Maybe these concerns found their way into his tone, making him a little short while it really had nothing to do with me. Who knows what was going on through his head? I guess that’s why love is patient. I could have called him out on rudeness and made his night worse than it was, or I could actually exercise some of this patience I’ve been seeing in this Bible verse, get over it, and spend some quality time together before my weekend away.
I chose the latter. Doesn’t that sound like a much more fun option anyway? There’s something to be said for this patience thing. And ok, maybe patience wasn’t my first thought, but at least the situation wasn’t completely over by the time it occurred to me! Maybe next time it’ll be even earlier!