My PATIENCE key was given to me by a dear friend who quietly and consistently supported me through some hard experiences in college. Although he gave me my Giving Key in the midst of pain and grueling decisions in our own relationship, I knew that our friendship was about to change, and that was only one shifting piece in the cloudy confusion that was my life at the time. I wore PATIENCE around my neck for the following year; that brass key reminded me to persevere through the unknown and to trust what I knew was true, even if I couldn't see it through the clouds.
Last week I gave my Giving Key to another dear friend who is entering a cloudy season of his own. Reflecting last year's events, my relationship with him is about to change, and so are his life circumstances. This time, though, I am on the giving end. I am the one who has walked through the trial and has been taught patience. Although I have not mastered this virtue, I believe this is the person who needs my key more than I do. I expect my friend to walk through similar fires, and to find comfort and strength just as I did. I hope that PATIENCE will come to define him, as I hope it now defines me.