Summer always seems to bring me to the brink of advent.
It is my slow down time and also my time to prepare the way for the new year.
I rest, I reflect, I pray. I love the Sabbath of summer.
And I am doing all this with a remarkable person.
She is a doctor, a lawyer, a philosopher, an architect and a poet.
She is an adventurer, an animal trainer and a visionary,
she is an artist, an acrobat and a singer.
I should mention here that she is a 6 year old at play --
dreaming her own dreams of who she is, and who she will be.
The beautiful fact is: when you are 6, anything is possible.
And that is gift enough for me to see.
In her promise and her possibility,
her hope and her anticipation, she offers me advent.
A season of expectation - and a time of preparation.
And this small child, a citizen of the world,
reminds me that with every breath, every moment, every day...
life is unfolding and I too am a work in progress.
Advent is the "now," and the "not yet." It is the waiting for something that will be.
The in-between time.
Advent is here in my waiting for the daughter to come home,
in my husbands hard work while waiting for the economy to improve,
in the construction zone of our home waiting for completion.
It is here in the waiting for the church to act,
for the spirit to move, for God to provide.
Everything, and everyone, waits.
As 6 year old waits (often impatiently) to see what life has in store, so do I.
I wait, like I pray at every mass, in joyful hope. My faith has taught me that;
shaped me in hope by the very routine naming of it in her constant liturgy.
And while I wait, there is work to be done, holy spirit shovel in hand.
God calls us to prepare the way.
But the geography is sometimes so much more complicated than I realize.
The rocky hills of my own expectations. And the flat stone wall of fear.
The slippery slope that brings me down again and again.
I think I know the path, and then as quickly I have no idea where I am going.
And so, the testimony of a 6 year old
calling out to me in the now of God's immediate presence.
Anything is possible!
And as Paul puts it:
I am confident of this, that the one who began this good work in you will continue to complete it.
That is the prayer on my lips this summer. A prayer of work, of hope, of waiting.
A prayer, really, of advent: a yearning for new life to become full, and to grow and
to become everything that it can knowing God-is-with-us.
And while I wait, I'll break out the shovel.
There are mountains to be moved. There is work to do.
what are you waiting for -
what do you hold
in the hands of your heart...
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
- Mary Oliver