give them a chance

Cleveland, OH

Good night's sleep last night, though it was a little cold. Beautiful full moon. So bright it startled me when I woke up during the night.

I was staying in a park in Brecksville, the same place I stayed two years ago when I was walking east-west through Ohio. So I looked back at my 2003 journal. This entry was made about the time I was passing through this area:

The last few days, I've been thinking that the real point of such patient endurance is to "give others a chance." I think this is also the purpose behind pacifism, nonviolence, noncoercion. Give the other person (perhaps the enemy or aggressor) the chance to repent, or the chance to do the right thing. Don't give up on them and impatiently walk away (or destroy them), but really give them a chance to accept or reject what God is offering.

I've experienced this recently in waiting for a couple priests to show up at their houses. Twice lately I've gotten pretty negative impressions (or been ignored) by people around the priest, but decided to wait anyway. To give him a chance. Saturday, the priest showed up and was nothing like I had been led to expect. He walked right up as I was sitting on his porch, and promptly invited me to stay the night in his house. He even invited me to join him for a dinner he was having for a couple friends. Steak, wine, laughter, the works. That was beautiful.

And it reinforced for me: be patient. At least give them a chance. Endure what you must. If they reject, OK, it's bound to happen (often, even). But give them a chance.

That's good advice. I just arrived at the Catholic Worker house here, and I'm not sure how the weekend will go. The house is very full and the workers are busy. The woman who opened the door for me was polite, but then asked me to leave and come back when one of the workers was there. So I'm at the library. But... be patient.