Just finished reading a great book by Czech Catholic priest, professor of sociology at Charles University in Prague, and winner of the 2014 Templeton Prize, Tomas Halik, entitled: Patience with God: The Story of Zacchaeus Continuing in Us. The premise of the book is situated around the story of Zacchaeus as a sympathetic observer, perhaps seeker, (but not involved in organized religion) wondering if the voice of Jesus is the real deal, followed by Jesus noticing, calling out to, and entering into Z's space.
Halik wonders, from the context of post-Christian, post-communist, secularized, Eastern Europe if there are many hopeful observers watching for faith communities from which the authentic voice of Jesus might emerge. Perhaps we need to notice, call out to, and enter into the spaces of those who are not coming into "our" spaces.
The notion of "patience with God" in this context is that faith or trust in God is not so much about a certain belief system that one assents to, but faith is really patience with God that God will accomplish what God intends to, and we will hang in with God (persevere) even when there seems to be silence or absence (citing Jesus on the cross).
This passage, written in the voice of Jesus to a struggling, skeptical "believer":
"You yourself insisted that you had to hear my voice in its absolute purity, with no human weaknesses, doubts and searching mixed in. But my voice has never been heard in that way in human history since the day I ascended into heaven. My words, my legacy, and my name are entrusted to the lips of people who are never completely pure, to hearts in which love for me is always mixed with love for the self and for the things of this world. I gave myself to the faith of my church, which is made up of sinners, not angels, and I was also in those who are still far from its visible gates, those who are grimy and sweaty from their seeking and wandering along paths full of questions and doubts. They are the ones you should have listened to above all; it was in them above all that you should have sought me.
And there's another thing. Faith -- if it's a living faith -- has to breathe; it has its days and its nights. God speaks not only through His words but also through His silence."