Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Waiting in the Dark

“Whatever it is you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting.”
                                                    Haruki Murakami

On this cold December morning
as I struggle, for no reason in particular
with the ravenous wolves of despair,
I look out the window at the hungering dark

and remember that we are entering
that odd and melancholy season of Advent

I know that in the public marketplace
the true “war on Christmas” shoots forth its volleys
of color and music
in malls filled with music and color and imposed good cheer

but in the church it is Advent
a relatively somber time of quiet and thoughtful preparation

a time when we wait in the dark

we are waiting for…. ?
Ah, that is the question!
What are we waiting for?

Faith says that what we are waiting for has already come!
In the person of that baby, born in poverty, thousands of years ago
And we are told this baby changed, and changes everything

Swords into plowshares
Peace, Justice, Love, Joy

But here we are in a world that is full of strife
Bursting with anger and hate, fear, trepidation
And a lot of bone deep sadness

So this is not just a season of certainty
But a season of uncertainty
Not merely a time of “knowing” but a time of “unknowing” (Richard Rohr)

It is a time of questions as much as a time of answers
What do we wait for?
What would it look like if “it” got here?

So we wait, for we know not what,
But which we believe, all evidence to the contrary
is there

We wait for something to burst forth into being

We have expectations

But I suspect, that when it comes, it won’t look
Or perhaps, even feel the way we expected

It won’t come through Trump
It won’t come through any other earthly savior
It doesn’t come, I suspect, through wealth, or power

It comes, I think, in unexpected, often unheralded ways
(as it did the first time)

It comes when, after waiting and preparing in the dark
After going deep, and looking at who we are
And who we might be…

The Sacred advents in our lives
In all its surprising and unusual forms
And participate, at least for the moment
In the kingdom
Which has been inaugurated, but not yet fully realized

It comes,
and then slips away
to come again

Just as nature returns endlessly to the seasons
Our soul participates in the endless cycle
Of waiting, and fulfillment
Celebration and struggle
Success and failure

Returning again and again and again
To that time of reflection and preparation
To that time of knowing and unknowing
Where we wait
In faith

For the light to shine in the darkness

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