Patience In Between

They say that nature abhors a vacuum. This is why, for instance, weeds spring up in a place where nothing else is planted. People abhor vacuums, too; it can be almost intolerable to try to stay in a place where it appears that nothing is happening.

Of course, something is always happening. Just as those seeds are germinating in that bare patch next to the rose bush, stuff is going on while we think we are doing nothing. There is always something going on. Nothing really stands still.

But it requires real patience to wait and see what will come forth, what the bloom will look like, noxious weed or fragrant flower or run of the mill ground cover, from a bare patch in our lives. It is hard to be patient in the in-between times. One likes the pretense of being in control, after all.

A bare spot can be filled with activity - exercise, reading, projects like painting or reorganizing closets. All those are good things and ought to be done anyway. I use them as distractions from the knowledge that there is this empty place that is worrying me even though I can't do anything about it. Sometimes this is good. These things ought to be done anyway. These distractions are better than some of the more destructive distractions I can think of.

But sometimes I would like to be able to give in to the patience in a different way. I'd like to be able to lean into it fully, enjoy it, not try to cover the bare spot and not try to play mind games that lead me to speculate unnecessarily about the potential negatives of the potential weed that may or may not be germinating. To just let it be and watch and wait in wonder and awe at what God might be doing in this meantime, fallow time.

This is what some folks call Holy Saturday. Something is gone, the new thing has not come forth, the waiting feels as if it takes place completely under a cloud. Some folks live here a lot. I usually don't, but I recognize that it is still a holy time.

Time rolls on. This too shall pass. Patience is a virtue. I keep saying that. I wish I could always believe it without crossing my fingers.