The potter's masterful hands cast the clay upon the wheel. He labors gently. He lingers in the moment. Haste does not provoke him to pluck the work after but a few turns. He tenderly molds, shapes... encouraging the work to take form.
Once again I see the same words come before me in different variations from different angles but the same words nonetheless. I've learned to listen.
"Love is patient." I Corinthians 13:4
Yet we hear, "Always leave them wanting more." The world teaches us in both our professional and personal lives to leave people wanting more. Draw them in. Partially fill them. But leave them thirsting a bit. Leave them wondering a bit. And in many of our relationships this practice seems successful, at least superficially, because we covet what we can't have... because the hunt is exhilarating. Are we afraid that if we fill their needs that they won't return?
I once read somewhere (and my feeble mind has forgotten what sweet mom shared this advice) that when you hold someone, practice not being the first to let go.
As I thought about that today I considered Scripture to support the idea of lingering in the moment. The first one that came to mind is the same passage I focused on as Valentine's Day approached, the passage I want my boys to have inextricably woven into their hearts. But today I saw the first adjective with a clarity and perspective I've not seen before in all of these years, in all of the times I've uttered those words. Love is patient. Not just patient for love to be planted, to grow, to bloom. Love, in its maturity, is patient. Love in motion, lived out, the love of every day, in its most exquisite fullness is patient.
I have always had a tendency to cringe at patience. Now I see it in a whole new light... no longer a trial, a test, a virtue with which to wrestle. It is beautiful. Love is patient.
Love lets you drink until you thirst no more. Love allows you to rest until you are weary no more. Love allows you to grow until you are weak no more. Love allows you to question until you doubt no more. Love allows you to dance, to rejoice, to laugh until your heart settles in a peaceful contentment... not complacent... but vibrant... a masterpiece to behold... intricate, multifaceted and amazing.
And so we hold until they are secure. We walk hand in hand until they are ready to run. In this crazy world, we text, we email until they've shared every word. We gaze until the painting of the mind is complete. We sing until the quiet sings for us. We fill until hearts spill in abundance... without want... full and complete.
Love is patient.
A rough draft in progress,