While we were at the retreat this weekend, we made a new friend. For the past four years, we have seen her at the monastery where she always runs to meet us with a warm welcome and a smile.
We learned more about her this weekend than we have previously known. She is one of the few females in this community, she does come in from outside on occasion and she is very patient. She is 15 years old, although she looks much younger. And, her name is Tipper.
Tipper's main friend and companion had to go out of town this weekend and she had to stay behind. Her companion's office is in the building where we met and we would see her wandering through the hall at certain points throughout the day. Her bowl of food and water were kept in a nearby kitchen; so, she had access when she needed a bite to eat or a cool drink. We would see her outside the building and she never went far.
As I watched Tipper I realized she could teach me a lot about my relationship with God. She is faithful and I could see her looking for her friend and I could sense the disappointment and a little apprehension when she couldn't find him. Even though she wasn't sure where he was she was constantly looking for him and longing for his presence. She would stand outside the door to his office and just wait expectantly for it to open. It made me sad to think she didn't understand. But, I choose to believe she trusts he had not forgotten her.
Like Tipper, I find myself waiting for doors to be opened - the right doors, the doors that will guide me to the next step in my faith journey. The door that may be slightly ajar, an invitation to explore what is on the other side. It is a matter of trust, patience and faith - believing the door will open my heart to the opportunities that God has waiting for me. And I, too, will wait patiently and expectantly - even when the waiting is long - knowing that sooner or later the door will open and, with God's help, I will be on my way.