How to have Patience in Suffering: Growing in love and light

How to have Patience in Suffering: Growing in love and light

by Nadia Ramoutar  MMM Communications Coordinator           Ireland              26.09.2023

pink flowerIt seems that all of mission work must somehow come from the seeds of hope.  It is the only way to grow into what we are becoming.  The MMM Motto is “rooted and founded in love.”   We grow in all our endeavours from that foundation.

It is so important as any gardener knows, to care for the soil.  You can’t plant seeds in the wrong type of soil and expect to get the results you want.  But, what I find interested is that not all seeds like the same type of soil!  Plants are as individual as people in that they have opposite needs sometimes.  As do people!

I was looking in a garden centre recently where I live in Ireland.  I picked up a beautiful golden bougainvillea which I loved seeing flourishing in Greece.  I asked the garden centre employee what conditions the plant needed to thrive.  She said it likes dry and sandy soil so if I bought it I would have to keep it in a pot and take it inside for winter.

Now, how many people saw that gorgeous plant, took it home and didn’t realise this.  The plant would be dead soon enough and have no chance of making it.  In my younger years, that’s what I would have done because I wouldn’t have “assumed” that it was for sale there and would grow and thrive here and I would have been very wrong.  The plant would have been doomed.

If we think of it this way, all humans are like sophisticated plants.  We have the needs for roots to grow but in the wrong conditions we will not just suffer, we may not make it.

In this light, we need to know the conditions in which we do well and strive to take care of ourselves.  God nurtures us with love that we need but we have to be sure we don’t put ourselves in a position to perish.  Knowing how and why we thrive and when and where we struggle allows us to be at our best and be of service to other people.  We can’t really serve anyone if we are not meeting our own needs first.

So often people struggle with carer’s fatigue.  We get overwhelmed and exhausted at how much we have to do for so many in so little time. We don’t always have all the resources we need to get things done quickly enough to keep up.

I laugh when I think of standing over a plant in a garden and yelling “Grow. Grow faster” at it.  It’s so silly.  But, it’s sad for us to do that to ourselves.  I find that faith is most important when I am needing to grow to meet the demands upon me and I don’t know how.  I look to nature and see how she does things at her own pace.  I am reminded of Romans 12: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering…”.  I am not very good at having patience in suffering, so I will do the thing that will make me better at it – practice!