Lesson Learned at the UNO Table

One of my weekly highlights is playing UNO with my senior friends at the assisted living home near me.  We have a core group of regulars and a few, including new faces, that come and go each week.  I usually lead the game as it travels around the table – announcing the color needed, asking each player if they might have the number needed instead, or helping them choose a color if they play a wild card.  Each player needs a different amount of help but I try my best to “keep the playing field level.” I ask questions and offer help to everyone – and only peek at someone else’s cards when absolutely necessary:)

It seems to work well.  However, I am always amazed – and rather amused – how quickly some of the residents run out of patience/get annoyed with the slower players at the table.  Eyes roll.  Impatient prods:  “C’mon, do you have a blue card, or not!!?”  And even snarky jabs.  (“Ugh, Edith doesn’t have a clue!!”)  Really??  I so often want to remind some that they are all in assisted living….for one reason or another.  But, I don’t.  It’s human nature and, truth be told, I’m not immune.

It is so much easier to have patience when we recognize similar faults.  When I “get where you’re coming from,” I am able to make allowance – show mercy and be patient.  With others…not as much.  This affects how I understand and respond to family members, friends, neighbors, strangers and those I interact, or minister, with routinely.  When I sense my patience draining.  When I’m mentally criticizing or being judgemental.  It is time to step back and look for a different perspective.  Even if I don’t always agree, I can try to understand.  And, even if I don’t understand, I want a heart that is longsuffering and willing to offer grace.

One day, it might be me at that UNO table – unsure if I can play my green 8 on that blue 7.  I hope the volunteer – and my friends – will be patient.  And kind.

Galatians 6:7b  “…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

11 thoughts on “Lesson Learned at the UNO Table

  1. Yes, it is always good to think about US being in that place one day. It helps us have a lot more compassion on those who are there now. God bless you in your UNO games. 🙂 It's a beautiful ministry.

  2. This is a great lesson! It's true it's more easy to be patient with others when we remember that we have faults too and there are times when we try others' patience!

  3. Jennifer, such beautiful truth you share in this post. 🙂 I have had to really re-evaluate my interactions with my boys. Each is dealing with different stuff. And sometimes, they try my patience . . . greatly. But, when I can look at them with a heart that's trying to understand, maybe that will help with some of our more heated conversations. Our perspective is key in how we engage with others.

    LOVED this one!

  4. I understand what this looks like. I spent a lot of time with my dad in assisted living. I am the person who gets frustrated and I pray that when I am in that position I find patience and accept help if needed.

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