Friday, November 25, 2011

Advent: Finding the Way Home

There is a stretch of country I drive on my way to work where the sky blends so seamlessly into the land that it’s hard to tell where the horizon is. When the sky is overcast, it’s even more difficult.

I wonder how I’d find my way if I were out in one of those fields in a snowstorm, blinded by the monotony of white. What anchors would I search out to help me find my way? a bit of fence or some dried brown grass on the crest of a hill? The fewer things there are in a landscape, the more desperately each one matters to show you where you are.

During times of tragedy we are stripped to essentials. The familiar anchors of belief seem far away and we are left numb, lost, with few signs to help us find our way home. We wander in the far country of despair, unsure of anything solid we can hold on to.

And this is Advent: the world waiting in quiet blindness, familiar anchors fading into white. It’s the moment before. What happens next changes the story forever, when into that nothingness, something solid, wrapped in flesh, is born. But for now, we wait. And the sky grows heavy with our longing.

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