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Bless Them with Your Patience by Kayla Jackson

December 16, 2013

Thanks to Kayla Jackson, a sophomore student leader in University Ministry, for her thoughtful response to today’s readings.

James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11

I’m shamelessly sitting in my room listening to what my sister calls my ‘dirty hipster music,’ as I scribble away at my tricky music theory worksheet. The Dirty Projectors’ “Dance for You” fades to a close and, after a moment of silence, the next song emerges from the noiselessness. Lap steel guitar sounds from my speakers, followed by the croons of folk duo First Aid Kit. It is one of my favorites, “Emmylou,” and so I blissfully hum along. When the chorus rolls around, I can’t help but belt the infectious refrain. Now it’s at my favorite line of the song, the first line of the second verse: “Now so much I know that things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.” The chorus comes around again, and I’m taken away by the music; before I know it, the song is over. Now the sweet, hushed voices of the Staves control the sound waves. I reluctantly return to my worksheet, and amidst my page of music staffs and key signatures, I began to wonder what drew me to ‘favorite’ lyric in the first place.

Obviously, there is truth in the lyric and I thought maybe that’s what enticed me. Things generally do not grow if you don’t bless them with your patience. This resonated greatly with the first reading which calls us to be patient, James 5:7. Think of farmers and gardeners, and how they must patiently wait if they are ever to receive the healthy crop they so desire. Not only do we bless things with our patience, but people as well. Think of parents, your own parents even, and how patient they have been. They were patient when we were frustrated with ourselves and when we made our mistakes. They were fully aware that, if they were patient, we would grow from our struggles. So, neither things nor people grow if denied the patience of others. On the other hand, you do not grow when you fail to bless others with your patience. When you deny others your patience, you fail to appreciate the growth they are undergoing. Instead of helping them grow, you stunt them. In squandering an opportunity to help others grow, you fail to grow.

Although we live in a society where patience isn’t something we tend to have a lot of, it sure does hold a lot of significance. I guess this is what drew me to my favored verse. Patience truly is a virtue.

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