But war is not chess. It is not football. It is not fishing. Patience is not always something we seek. Sometimes it is forced upon us.
Alma Crittenden, 65, of San Diego, has been waging her own war for 10 years. On July 15, 1991, Crittenden's great-niece, Rasheeyda Wilson, then 9 years old, disappeared while playing in her neighborhood.
Since her disappearance, Wilson's mother died, so it is left to Crittenden to wait and hope. The child's picture still hangs on Crittenden's living room wall. She keeps a stuffed Christmas mouse Wilson played with during visits. Each day, Crittenden prays. From time to time, she calls the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which runs the child's photograph on its Web site. She searches the faces of strangers, and, she says, she will continue looking until there is closure. Her war is against the probable and the unknown.
But in her patience rests hope that, like Homer's Odysseus, who overcame peril and temptation to make his long way home to loved ones, Rasheeyda will return. It is the same hope Crittenden has for soldiers now far away, for all families with empty chairs at the table.
"The only way to be patient," she says, "is to believe and trust in the Lord, to ask him for the guidance and patience to go on."http://www.urbandharma.org/kusala/revkus/p...ncelatimes.html