still waiting

A few days ago I closed a message to Heather with this:

waiting impatiently for you,

And yesterday in the library I came across a novel titled Waiting. Today, I'm filling in for Julius on his day off, being on call for Bob's needs throughout the day. It reminded me of a journal entry two years ago, about "waiting on":
Maybe the best phrase that describes true service is "to wait on." As in a restaurant, where servers are commonly called "waiters." But in any situation, the one in the subservient position can be seen because he is the one who waits, waiting for the people he serves to call on him or make up their minds or finish what they are doing. The one who waits, the servant, is not in control. And "waiting on" someone is always a humbling experience.
I also went back and read what I wrote about waiting earlier this year. When I wrote that, I was waiting to go to the retreat place in Virginia (which didn't work out as we had hoped). Now I'm waiting to try again, at Plow Creek Farm. And I've been waiting over six months now for Heather to return from Africa.

Waiting, especially "waiting on God," is an important theme in scripture. And it's often spoken of in a very active sense. Words like "abide" and "endure" emphasize this active sense of waiting. Like I wrote earlier this year, waiting is not just a personal spiritual practice. Now I'm seeing how it's also a very important active part of our relationships (with God or other people). Now that Heather's return is in sight, I'm becoming more aware of how waiting can be active, how my waiting for her has taken a lot of focus and energy and intention. To keep someone present to you, even though they are far away. To keep reaching for them, though you cannot touch.

But these are powerful words to be able to say to someone: "I'm waiting for you."