and Advent begins…

 

An invocation

The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before.

It is not possible to keep it from coming, because it will. That’s just how Advent works.
What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you.
And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s hindquarters fade in the distance.

So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder.

There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing.

For now, stay. Wait.

Something is on the horizon.

 

–Jan Richardson

the Quiet time…

“Dawn is coming…… I step quietly from my bed, alive to the silences around me. This is the quiet time, the time of innocence and soft thoughts, the childhood of the day. Now is the moment when I must pause and lift my heart – now, before the day fragments and my consciousness shatters into a thousand pieces. For this is the moment when the senses are most alive, when a thought, a touch, a piece of music can shape the spirit and color of the day. But if I am not careful – if I rise, frantic, from my bed, full of small concerns – the mystical flow of the imagination at rest will be broken, the past and the future will rush in to claim my mind, and I will be swept up into life’s petty details and myriad obligations. Gone will be the openness that comes only to the waking heart, and with it, the chance to focus the spirit and consecrate the day. “

We rise to this day in anticipation. It is the first day of the new year in the Christian tradition. It is the first day of Advent.

May it begin with quiet time – time allowing for ‘ the openness that comes only to the waking heart’.


Quote: Kent Nerburn, Small Grace: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday life

Photo: David Kanigan

on this day of thanksgiving – participate in hope

 

“All I know for sure is that anticipatory hope is not enough anymore,
participatory hope is the only kind that will work now.”

 

We are careful on this day — careful to do no harm. Careful to find meaningful and creative ways to express our love to people, so important to us, who we cannot touch or even be near. 

This has been a year aching for hope. We have stretched beyond our limits to find the gaps where hope can shine through and point us toward the future. This search is not passive longing. The hope we seek is discovered through our willingness and ability to engage in the world before us. 

No one dares describe this path to hope as easy. It is laden with grief and frustration. Yet on this one day we find ourselves eager to shine light on the good that we know – to share love in unique ways reaching through the barriers to touch the hearts of family and friends.

This is our way to participate in hope. Where light is needed may we clear the way so a gentle dawn can be seen.

We are careful on this day — but through this care we share our hope for a new day, safe and whole.


Quote: Barbara Brown Taylor

a path in the woods

I don’t trust the truth of memories
because what leaves us
departs forever
There’s only one current of this sacred river
but I still want to remain faithful
to my first astonishments
to recognize as wisdom the child’s wonder
and to carry in myself until the end a path
in the woods of my childhood
dappled with patches of sunlight
to search for it everywhere
in museums in the shade of churches
this path on which I ran unaware
a six-year old
toward my primary mysterious aloneness


Quote:  Anna Kamieńska, from “A Path in the Woods,“

in-between state…

Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state.
It’s the kind of place we usually want to avoid.

The challenge is to stay in the middle rather than buy into struggle and complaint.
The challenge is to let it soften us rather than make us more rigid and afraid.

 


Quote: Pema Chödrön