This week was one of reflection, one of my coworkers died, and as I felt the sadness associated with her death. Several questions arose, one of which was what patient love is. We will all interact with different people, and some of our relationships will be easy. And some will be a bit more challenging. How do we practice patient love in relationships that are harder to navigate? Should we just write people off; are human beings expendable? We live in a time when self-protection is more valuable than vulnerability and trust. In the Book of Romans 12: 14-19, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written. It is mine to avenge; I will repay says the Lord.” Challenging people are all around us, and if we are honest at times, we fit into this category. During times when we are the challenge, I am sure we would like the other person not to repay evil with evil. One of the hard parts of human nature is seeing ourselves honestly while balancing our weaknesses and insecurities. We tend to play the self-blame game to perfection, and at other times we play the blame everyone else game. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Only our Creator knows His creation, and He will guide us through the task of either being the challenging one or standing with them. Imagine how dull life would be if we could only see one color and never realize the beauty that lies in purple, green, blue, red, pinks, yellow, etc. People represent beautiful diversities, and our goals should be how do we embrace all the fantastic assortments of people and characteristics in our everyday lives. Patient love can be summarized in one scripture in Roman 12: 18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” With everyone, not just the people, we click instantly with, but the ones that offer a challenge. Embrace the people that make you uncomfortable because, in these relationships, we will grow and find priceless life lessons. Our Creator already knows what and who we need in our lives to add a pop of color. One of my favorite quotes is Maya Angelou “I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.” What if we lived life with this quote as our attitude toward everyone we meet? We could interact with anyone and learn from them without judgment. What an amazing God we serve that would give us each other as a gift.