Nachamu, Nachamu - I Will Wait For You

by Chana Klein

I found the following story online several years ago. There was no author sited.

It goes like this:

After the divorce, her teenage daughter became increasingly rebellious.

It culminated late one night when the police called to tell her that she had to come to the police station to pick up her daughter, who was arrested for drunk driving. They didn't speak until the next afternoon. Mom broke the tension by giving her daughter a small gift-wrapped box. Her daughter nonchalantly opened it and found a small piece of a rock.

She rolled her eyes and said, "Cute Mom, what's this for?"

"Here's the card," Mom said.

Her daughter took the card out of the envelope and read it. Tears started to trickle down her cheeks. She got up and gave her mom a big hug as the card fell to the floor.

On the card were these words:

"This rock is more than 200 million years old. That's how long it will take before I give up on you."

This as a story between a parent and a teenager. But it is also, in my mind, the story of Hashem and us.

It says "after the divorce." Could that be after the destruction of the Temple, for us?

Then it says the teenage daughter became rebellious. I believe that many of my behaviors can be viewed as rebellious before God. Perhaps you can see yours in the same way. Do we ever hold a grudge? Do we hold onto anger? Do we steal time by wasting it at work? Do we avoid being true to "who" we really are? Do we not give what we are doing our best effort?

I could go on, listing behaviors that God, or we, might view as rebellious.

We have all heard that there are times in our history when God hides His face from us. There are also times when we don't pray to God. Can that be compared to the mom and teen not speaking for awhile? And then the mom gives the daughter a gift. The girl does not understand what it is. How many gifts do we have from God that we do not understand to be gifts?

But the next part of this story, I cannot read without tears welling up. "This rock is more than 200 million years old. That's how long it will take before I give up on you." The mom tells her daughter that she will wait more than two hundred million years before she gives up on her. Wow! And isn't that what Hashem is doing for us?

Now is the time on the Jewish calendar for Nachamu - comfort. We rebelled and we lost our Temple and now is the time for us to be comforted for our suffering. It says in Tehillim 66:19-20,

"But God heard. He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God who did not turn away my prayer, nor His mercy from me."

I look back throughout my life and see God's patience with me. I can see that He heard my prayer, no matter where I was in my life, and no matter what my level. I can see that he might have waited two hundred million years for me to find Torah.

I was born to Jewish parents but eventually was placed by an agency into a Roman Catholic home for girls. I was pushed into experiencing those customs and ways. I did not know what a Torah was. But even when I did not know how to pray the Jewish way nor what to call the Almighty, He still listened to me and was exceedingly patient with me. It took a very long time for me to find the Torah and a long time to internalize what I was learning. To think that God still loved me, even when I considered myself a Buddhist, a Born Again Christian, a Church of Religious Science member, a Jehovah's Witness, a Course in Miracles student, a non affiliate, and so many of the other religions that I investigated in my spiritual search.

Even through that whole journey that ended up with finding my own truth in Torah from Sinai, God alone understood my journey and loved me every step of the way. He took care of me and protected me from all of the forces that might have damaged me and my soul.

Hashem in his unlimited sight, ability, and power still came into my tiny little world and cared for me like a doting, protective, loving parent.

Just as the parent in the story will not give up on her daughter, we are God's children and He has not, and will not, give up on you or me.

Try scanning back over your own life and see the times you might have been "rebellious." Try looking at it with clarity. Can you see that God was still with you, perhaps waiting for you to cleave to Him in some way? Do you feel comforted knowing that you are God's child and that He is waiting for you with infinite patience?

How blessed have I been! How blessed am I still. How blessed I believe that you are as well.

Nachamu, Nachamu!

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