Waiting is Something Besides Sitting Around

Photo by Ermin Celikovic via Unsplash

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.”

Henri Nouwen

Aren’t those beautiful words? Nouwen has a way of making even the most difficult things sound noble and worth doing.

But I still don’t enjoy waiting, no matter how glorious Nouwen tries to make it sound. I wonder if that’s because I’ve always seen waiting as sitting around, as nothing more than passing time. That’s not how Nouwen talks about it.

To him, waiting means 1) remaining 2) living 3) and paying attention.

That doesn’t sound like doing nothing. If this is true, if this Nouwen-esque kind of waiting is possible, then waiting is actually a switch from being static to being still, from a blank stare to calm awareness. Note especially that he doesn’t say waiting involves finding something new. No, the newness will make itself apparent to us when we remain, live, and pay attention.

What are you waiting for? Are you, like me, still trying too hard, when all that’s required of us in this time of waiting is to be still and aware?

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These lucky folks are the winners of last week’s drawing for Christie Purifoy’s incredible memoir, Roots and Sky:

Kristin Potler
Jessica SanbornLaura Brownstein

Message me your info. I can’t wait for you to read this book!

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Bryan Allain and I are putting together a top-secret project that will benefit writers. To get more info as it becomes available, go HERE.

3 Replies to “Waiting is Something Besides Sitting Around”

  1. so very timely for me. I keep wanting answers, and keep hearing “wait, pay attention.” That answer seems to be a good one on some days and wearisome on others. today was one of those days.

  2. This is a good quote by Nouwen. One I have not read before, thank you. I’m currently reading “Roots and Sky”. It’s a good read for this season I find myself in. Enjoying your writing.

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