Patience requires an interesting integration of many of the Advent photo-a-day words this month. Many of those words are a part of John's nature. (Peace, time, ready, wisdom, delight, holy, steadfast, hopeful, a heart for justice, gather, rejoice, strong, free, mercy.) You see, John is centered in his faith and knows how much he is loved by God. His faith is his motivator in life. He is humble and lives rather simply in the complicated life I offer him. I am a whirling dervish compared to him; creative by nature and probably more ADD than I ever realized. He sees no value in "things" unless they serve a purpose. Yet, he does not judge others for acquiring things. That's a relief, because acquiring things has never been a problem for me.
He is at peace with who he is and is a peacemaker. He is not confrontational, and will take a couple of licks from the tongues of others, before he even replies. He has the patience to assess the words and does not take anything personally. That makes him stronger than anyone who immediately lashes back.
John takes delight in life in general. He loves his work. He loves me. But he takes particular delight in children. He is a patient, loving and understanding father. And now, as a grandfather, he gets to do it all over again. A father and stepfather of six, it would be hard for the kids to count on one hand how many time he raised is voice to them. Many a time when he was really saddened by their behavior, he would often lower his voice in a tone that implied his sadness and speak the name of the offending child. It would stop them cold. That is because everyone knew just how kind and patient he is. If he was disappointed in an action, the knowledge of that disappointment was better punishment than grounding. No one wanted to hurt the person that showed the most grace.
John is a perfect example of a just person who shows mercy first. The saying, justice without mercy is revenge, could be a tattoo on the arm of my beloved. A win-win attitude is what he has. He hears one side of a story, then patiently listens to a conflicting, opposite side, and always, always comes up with a third way to see things. A master of compromise, he makes everyone feel like they've won. It may take a few steps and a bit of his time, but that's called ... PATIENCE.
I am blessed to be walking beside him. I love him and I believe in him. He has taught me the importance of patience and discernment. He has helped me see all sides of a story. He has instilled in me the need for mercy and grace instead of judgement. He is my steadfast rock. He understands my childlike hope. He gets the importance of sacrificing time, money and self in order to travel to gather with family. He is my joy.
One of our favorite Bible verses was read at our wedding: Ecclesiastes 4:12 -If someone attacks one of them, the two of them together will resist. Furthermore, the triple-braided cord is not soon broken. That third cord is our God. Our wedding rings symbolize those three cords wrapped together. We are bound together with our faith and where God is the light in our life, John is the conductor who waves the light in front of me to help show me the way and keep me from getting lost.
Love is patient and kind..... Yes he is...