The nature of waiting

The count down to Shavuot (Pentecost) is a time of waiting – just as a child counts the days hopefully to the day a parent will return or a present is due to be received.

counting the days to shavuotHebrew captures the nature of this waiting in the word qavah, often translated as ‘wait for’ or ‘hope for’. The root of the word comes from qav, meaning cord – as in a measuring cord. Time is measured out but qavah also means binding together. It shows the binding together that can occur through waiting. As the modern English phrase puts it, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

We have seen how Adam was impatient for a companion and other early speeches in the Bible show longing or impatience for another human being to solve things or meet our lack. There are, then, two questions – how we wait, and what or who we wait for.

The Bible tells us to “wait for the Lord, … yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14): “qavahqavah”. We are told both to wait and to bind together with the Lord. This is our preparation and our test. We can be measured by how we wait.

Comments are closed.