We honked. Actually, we didn’t honk, but I really wanted to… The woman ahead of us was — the. slowest. drive-thru. orderer. ever!!!
Add this to the fact that we had hungry kids in the back of the car, and a near brush with a police officer who was still behind us, and people in gloves and masks all around us…and I felt nervous. C’mon lady. Move it.
Is she ever going to go? What is wrong with this person?!
I looked in the rearview mirror and then looked straight ahead trying to see what the issue was. I leaned forward looking for an escape. Tension rose in my chest.
When we finally reached the Chick-Fil-A attendant, she said, “I am going to switch to the passenger side of your car for your order. The woman ahead of you was deaf so I got closer so I could hear her.”
She was — what?! Deaf.
In my impatience, I cursed a woman most in need of — patience. I felt horrible. She was doing a great job “getting out” and here I was critiquing her.
You know, we never know what it is to walk in another’s shoes. We never know the history of someone else’s hurt. We never know all their physical limitations. The details of their day. Why they delay or act wishy-washy or make us wait.
But, God knows… He knows their quirks as much as He knows ours.
In retrospect, I wish I extended patience, instead of getting — pushy. I wish I would have been patient.
Patience is never wrong. Even if it takes time. Even if it slows us down. Even if we listen longer. Even if we have to talk more. Even if we have to get out of our own mind and into someone else’s. Even we delay our mouth or our progress…
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Eph. 4:2)
Patience is love. It quiets discontent. It softens its response. It lets go of its own personal agenda. It loves by the Spirit. It discerns how to go. It makes space for others’ needs. It waits with a smile on its face. It pauses with the goal of lifting the other person up. It dismisses gripes.
It is kinds to oneself. It extends grace. It remembers how patient and kind God has been — to us — so it can really love others.4