On Fridays at the retirement home there is a group of gentleman that gather in the parlor waiting to take the ladies out to lunch. We call them the ladies in waiting, although they really aren’t ladies at all. Actually they call themselves that, a bit of gallows humor I suspect. If your date is in her 80’s and busy getting ready, you can wait a long, long time. Some of them quip, “at her age you would think there would be a greater sense of urgency.”
It’s very sweet, charming even, because these are men clearly in service to a much beloved aunt or grandmother. Often these outings with friends and family are the only recreation and socializing these women will have. It can be very sad and lonely in our culture for older people who tend to get left behind and wind up isolated. That is why I delight in the ladies in waiting, because they change everything, because they are a bright spot in an often dark world.
Service, sacrifice, and patience, endless patience with a touch of humility, is how I think of the ladies in waiting. Those are somewhat unusual treasures to be found in men, especially in a culture that tends to teach them to be workaholics, conquers, not nurtures, not luncheon dates for their grandma.
I could never understand why they waited downstairs in the parlor, but I soon discovered they don’t like the intimacy of that inner sanctum to be found in someone’s apartment, the lack of exits, the list of chores they will be immediately handed. Elderly people can be funny, I’m so glad you showed up, I can’t get the dust off the top off my fridge, my TV remote isn’t working, and I really wish my lamp had a dimmer switch. I call these honey-dew lists, after the melon.
Waiting on the Lord is a theme that keeps popping up and every time I hear it I think of the ladies in waiting. The “ladies” are not just mindlessly cooling their heels in the parlor, they are showing the rest of us that there is hope in the world, that love is a real thing, that family matters. In their simple waiting, in their resting, just their mere presence in the parlor is a ministry and a message all of its own.
That is how I think of waiting on the Lord, what feels to us like waiting really isn’t waiting at all, it is the main attraction, it is a dozen songs being sung that we cannot always hear, it is His word at work that never returns void.
God does not wait, I think we wait. I think we grow dissatisfied with what we see, I think we become impatient, I think we long for a grand adventure, a more glamorous role, a feeling of being productive, of accomplishment and a grand finale with a theme song. Everyone is different, we all have our own issues, and as such God deals with us individually, but for me I suspect God often looks down and says, What ever are you waiting for?