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

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

Heartbreak and Hope

 

Heartbreak and hope are not mutually exclusive.
We can be angry and sad and filled with longing for something we cannot have,
and simultaneously we can be grateful for what we’ve got — aware,
for reasons we’d never choose, of what really matters and what doesn’t.

 


Quote: Lennon Flowers
Photo: Ansgar Scheffold

from Gratefulness.org

Behold this day

Behold this day, for it is yours to make.


Quote: Black Elk
Photo: Chris Liu Beers

from Gratefulness.org

lift your voice – in laughter, in weeping

BLESSING THAT BECOMES EMPTY AS IT GOES

This blessing
keeps nothing
for itself.
You can find it
by following the path
of what it has let go,
of what it has learned
it can live without.

Say this blessing out loud
a few times
and you will hear
the hollow places
within it,
how it echoes
in a way
that gives your voice
back to you
as if you had never
heard it before.

Yet this blessing
would not be mistaken
for any other,
as if,
in its emptying,
it had lost
what makes it
most itself.

It simply desires
to have room enough
to welcome
what comes.

Today,
it’s you.

So come and sit
in this place
made holy
by its hollows.
You think you have
too much to do,
too little time,
too great a weight
of responsibility
that none but you
can carry.

I tell you,
lay it down.
Just for a moment,
if that’s what you
can manage at first.
Five minutes.
Lift up your voice—
in laughter,
in weeping,
it does not matter—
and let it ring against
these spacious walls.

Do this
until you can hear
the spaces within
your own breathing.
Do this
until you can feel
the hollow in your heart
where something
is letting go,
where something
is making way.


Quote: Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Image: “In the Emptying” © janrichardsonimages.com
(Inspired by Philippians 2)