Jan Richardson is one of my favorite ‘Lay’ theologians; a writer, poet, artist and spiritual leader. Below is an excerpt of a recent posting from her Advent blog which I found of interest:
“And so we come to Advent, this sacred season of expectation and anticipation that draws us toward the festival of Christmas. In these days there is much talk of waiting; it is the enduring theme of Advent, and rightly so. For a culture that so often moves too quickly, too unmindfully, Advent’s invitation to wait comes as a reminder of the wisdom of the pause, the standing back, the stopping to think. To ponder. To pray.
Yet I sometimes struggle with that word, waiting. So often we associate waiting with passivity and idleness. With boredom and dullness. With a sense of helplessness in the face of time that seems to stretch out interminably. There is this, too: at the same time that waiting can be a corrective to rushing, the flip side is that waiting can sometimes become an excuse for not taking a needed action.
Sometimes we wait too long.
The season of Advent challenges us to ponder how it is that we wait. How (and whether) we engage our waiting as a spiritual practice. How we bring our discernment to our waiting, that we may know when to hold back and when it is time to act.
May wisdom attend your waiting.”
I am moved to offer a postscript. Last Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent symbolizes Hope. In a recent conversation, an individual expressed frustration in not feeling God’s love and caring during a challenging situation. For this person, waiting was a struggle. I reminded this person that sometimes if we “Open our eyes to see God’s hand at work in the world about us” (Eucharistic Prayer C) we may indeed experience signs of Hope in the unexpected. This iris currently blooming in the garden right outside my office window is such a wonderful example. The reality is Iris do/should not bloom the first week of December….but this one is. Right before us. Now.
Yes, open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us.