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Unknowing Patience


I have recently re-read the devotional classic The Cloud of Unknowing and have to confess that most of it still seems obscure to me. Most if it passed me by leaving me apparently none the wiser but I was struck by the discourse around chapter 19 where the author has been considering Mary and Martha (two sisters Jesus knew: Martha worked to provide hospitality and became upset when she felt that Mary was missing out on important duties by sitting and listening to Jesus).

The author apologises for seeming to treat Martha harshly and reflects that that it is important to make allowances for others. When doing something you consider important (like Mary) and interrupted by someone weighed down by what seem mundane trivialities, continue in the path of wisdom by dealing with them kindly and patiently.

That isn’t the richest of harvests I have had from reading a book. Maybe if I return to it in a few years I will be able to drink deeper from its wells but I can at least reflect on this call for patience and kindness.

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