After finishing the checkout line in Walmart, I was stopped by a woman who said she had seen me multiple times throughout the store with my kids. "I kept hearing his sweet little voice 'Mama! Mama!" she commented, pointing to Isaac, "And there you were with the patience of a saint. It was really a joy to witness." I resisted the urge to glance behind me to make sure she was talking to me; I thanked her and she walked off.
I was embarrassed. I was humbled. I was reminded of my not-so-patient self with my kids this morning, and completely aware that what she mistook for unending patience was probably a mixture of distracted determination and weariness.
She didn't see me this morning when Ella colored on the leather couch with a sharpie. I'm fairly certain that "patience of a saint" would not have fit the description of that event.
She didn't see me grit my teeth during our Bible lesson (yes, I sense the irony there) because Isaac had his own ideas about participation.
It's funny that when we think about the characteristics of God that we want to imitate, we usually think of certain things: his holiness, unfailing love, heart for the poor, value of justice. And yet I find myself longing to just be kind like my Heavenly Father, the kindness that is not simply a niceness about Him, the kindness that is a disposition of the heart to be open and generous and unfailingly patient.
Such a journey.
On an up note, here is how I found Isaac and Tutu this morning:
Which is evidence that today's Patience of a Saint Award rightfully belongs to Tutu. =)