Musing 1: My mom had mentioned that “forbearance” reminds her of St. Christopher, the Patron Saint of Safe Travel. His name means “Christ-bearer”; what we Christians do on this planet. Here are three different depictions of St. Christopher’s relationship with the Christ child. I’m reminded of how we, in strong and weak moments, are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
How could the man in these pictures forget that life is about Jesus? May my intimacy with Christ be as tangible. This could be the heartbeat of forbearance.
Musing 2: As I’ve been meditating about forbearance, I’ve also been reminded of Saul’s impatience with and jealous of David. Saul became a mess of a murderer because he could not forbear David; he could not tolerate their God-ordained differences. How different Saul’s life would have been if he had stepped back and remembered that life was not about himself – not even about “Saul vs. David” – but about Jesus Christ being glorified (and I do believe that OT believers had a unique type of revelation about the person of Jesus Christ).
Musing 3: Which also reminds me of the beloved ending of Tolkien’s The Hobbit…
After an adventure-of-a-lifetime being “the hero,” finding a long-lost treasure, and pursuing justice, Bilbo listens as Gandalf reveals that meanwhile, all over the realm, rulers and kingdoms have been shifting and moving. New – and good – Masters have come to rule, people and elves have been freed, ancient prophecies have proved true. Bilbo comes to the dual-realization that although his part was a part of all of this, it was only a small part of all of this; he is astonished.
“Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!” said Bilbo.
“Of course!” said Gandalf. “And why should not they prove true? Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”
“Thank goodness!” said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.