Patience – A Desert Wisdom Card

Patience © 2014 Bo Mackison

“Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can – working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!  ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Patience. Certainly a wisdom gift of the desert. Certainly a quality required when one is actually walking/living/being in the desert, and for those desert-like times when life feels arid and silent, or overwhelming and fragmented.

I love this photograph, a photo taken at Mission San  Xavier del Bac, a mission church in southern Arizona built in the 1700s. The church took decades to build by hand with primitive tools.

There were no supplies of paint or marble or fabric. Even the wood had to be hauled from a distance of twenty miles.  They built the walls with lime-kiln clay. They carved statues from wood and dyed them brilliant colors using both native dyes and imported gilding. They carved shells, roping, and drapery-like sculptures for windows ornamentation and the choir.  They painted wall murals and patterned arches. They sculpted a baptismal font and painted it to look like marble.

Works of art that required patience and determination, and which are still in use, and honored by the present day parishioners.

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

In the photo, I stand in the shadows.

Waiting. Watching. Questioning.

Listening to the Silence.

Practicing patience.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Very interesting and inspiring thoughts and a particularly intriguing image.

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