When Blue Wilson walked into Greg's office, he was surprised. Blue was desperate to the point of tears but it was Greg whose head was in his hands.
Greg looked up, "Hey Blue!" He sniffed and wiped his eyes. "I'm always glad to see you. How'd the semester finish up?" Greg had founded this community, which some people called a cult, 25 years ago.
"My grades were okay, I guess. Are-- are you okay?"
"Yes, I will be fine in time. It's just hard to wait sometimes."
Greg was 65 and his wife and family had left him because they couldn't wait for the vision of this community to come together. It was finally a thriving community but Blue knew there were many businesses and gardens and eco-powered electricity systems Greg was still waiting to come together. And there were always broken people to work with who were in the hard process of becoming whole. Blue felt like one of them now.
"What's on your heart?" Greg poured some coffee for the both of them and sat down on the couch next to Blue. Greg should have been the busiest person in the community, but he seemed to always have plenty of time for Blue. For everybody, in fact.
"It's just," now it was Blue holding back tears. "Everyone has an internship this summer but me. And pretty much everyone in our group is engaged. And my girlfriend Grace and I just broke up--I'm just afraid I won't get another one as good as her. My roommates' fiancé will be moving in when they marry in November and I don't know where I'll move to. I just feel... so... unmoored."
Blue sat in Greg's office for an hour and a half, and Greg just listened and nodded a lot. He seemed to understand all of this so well.
At the end, after Blue had emptied out his entire weary heart to Greg, Blue asked, "What should I do?"
Greg only had one word but he said it with such compassion that Blue felt there was a whole world Greg wanted to tell Blue about behind it.
Blue left with a new peace, but not that anything about his situation had been resolved. Instead he felt that Greg knew some hidden value in the waiting. He wanted to trust Greg. He would try.
That evening as the sun was setting Greg visited a construction site on the edge of their community. Just the foreman was still there, filling out a few things on a checklist.
"Hey Greg, what's good?"
"Hey Chuck. This looks great. Hey I'd like to add something to Blue's house."
"Oh yeah? Have you told him it's for him yet?"
A pained look came over his face. "I want to. You know, it's that strength that uncertainty builds in someone." Greg's face wrinkled in compassion, thinking of Blue's pain. "Hey, could you make that second floor window seat that overlooks the valley have room for two? Like so two could sit there drinking coffee?"
Chuck looked up at the wooden frame of the house, cocked his head, sizing something up. "Yeah, I think we could do that. Who you thinking about? You'll join him?"
"Yeah. You know, to be with someone in the waiting... can help sometimes. But I'm thinking with that view, it's the sort of place he'd want to wait in with a future partner too. He has a deep desire for a partner."
"Oh yeah, I thought I heard he and Grace broke up." Chuck said. "I think she'll come back to him."
"We'll see. I suppose that's the hardest part about waiting. The uncertainty."
"Yeah," Chuck affirmed, having learned his own hard lessons on this theme. "Sure is."
The Israelite people had to wander the wilderness and wait for 40 years of uncertainty about their future. It was during that time that their sin was processed out of them. It was a season of lament and difficulty. But after 40 years they had either learned to rely on God's presence and sustenance, or they had died off. This is sometimes why we must go through a waiting period of difficulty. It purifies our reliance on God, and trims out the parts of us that won't rely on him.
August, 24, 2020