Waiting is not easy.
That’s the title of one of my favorite children’s books and it could also easily be the banner over my life. The whole waiting deal is a real challenge.
Maybe that’s why author Mo Willems dedicated a whole book to it when he penned his 25 Elephant & Piggie books. This stellar series of early readers, complete with lovable characters, accessible vocabulary, and clever storylines, captivates all three of my kiddos, ages three to nine.
But, Elephant & Piggie aren’t just for kids. Even adults can’t put the books down. This past weekend, I read Waiting is Not Easy aloud to an audience of adults. I read the first half and then made them wait for the ending while I delivered a ten-minute message on the topic of waiting.
The book’s ending provides a powerful punch to what I’ve been learning on the topic, and it did not disappoint the crowd of talented writers, who also double as avid readers.
The (unintentional) biggest takeaway from my message – at least according to Twitter and Instagram – might have been this:
— Edie Melson (@EdieMelson) November 4, 2017
But one of the main lessons I passed along was that in our waiting, we can find a holy distraction, the story God writes in the wait.
I am in a massive season of waiting right now. So many significant things in a holding pattern. It’s easy to dwell on the when-wills and the why-not-yets.
I could waste the wait by just … waiting. Or I could look for a holy distraction, a God-centered, God-directed, God-authored story that can only be written while I “wait.”
Waiting is a chance to be on the lookout for the unexpected. Adventure. Growth. Friendship. Creativity. It’s a time to work with what you’ve got, not pine for what you don’t.
As I was passing through Bloomington, Indiana, on my way back from the writer’s conference, I visited my brother’s church. The sermon was about generosity, not of money, but of heart. Generosity of time, energy, care. It was powerfully illustrated in this video:
Of course, I noticed the Waiting is Not Easy cameo (did you catch it?), having just read it to one hundred adults one day previous. It only connected my heart more to the story I was already drawn deeply into.
I feel compelled to pass this on, thinking someone, somewhere, might be in a season of waiting, for something, anything, and that God may lead you to a holy distraction like this, a generous investment in some child’s life in a way that may physically just take a few weeks or months, but impact a family for the rest of their lives.
Safe Families is all across the country. I discovered it exists right here in my own town, too.
I imagine each one of us could name a “wait” we are in at the moment. I wonder what holy distraction you might find if you looked for it.