drawing The Christian saint, Paul the Apostle, once wrote that the Divine Spirit within us, when we pay notice, when we listen for its whispering voice, transforms our individual consciousness in ways we could not imagine. He calls these the "fruits of the spirit".

One among these fruits is patience. There is the quiet patience of the quilter, preparing each tiny piece, arranging them, sewing each one in place. Stitching for hour after hour, day after month, she makes beauty.

And there is the patience of the elderly woman who has passed through joy and sorrow, pain and blessing, hope and despair. She has seen it all come and go and come again. She knows that she has seen it all before and will see it all again, and has learned to face it all with poise and dignity.

Like the great old tree she has grown through all of the things that break and push and bend. Holding on through drought, holding on through flood, quietly putting out leaves in the spring, drawing in its strength in the winter, the tree persists and becomes majestic.

These are the faces of patience.

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