In the in-between

Advent. That season in Christendom where we wait. Wonder. Yearn. Dream. Pray. And then, we live with the fact that we do not have the answers we so desperately long to hear.

It’s true in my Hospice work. Knowing that death is coming (or not). Wishing there were absolutes and clear prognostications (and being shocked or disappointed). Wondering “how much time…?” When we do not know, and can never know.

In times like this, in the in-between, God uses pictures and moments to remind me… that the Divine is intricately involved in my life. That my short life is cradled in the span of Infinite wisdom. That it’s in the waiting that God Calls and leads me.

Tonight I needed reassurance. I needed hope. I needed encouragement. I needed a reminder of my relational and caring God. And then, this song came across my desktop. It’s by Kina Grannis, and is called “In The Waiting”. I think it’s the official heart song for my Advent season this year. Take a listen… the video is as powerful as the lyrics.

May we each know peace and LIFE in the waiting…

O Come Emmanuel.

 
“I’ve been working on patience
trying to trust in the timing of my tiny existence
I come alive
I sat still in the twilight
I found peace in the quiet things
How could I wish away all the in between?


And all this time
Ive been staring at the minute hand
Oh what a crime
That I can’t seem to understand that life
Is in the waiting.”

Cross-posted: Advent Longings

This prayer is shared from the RevGals page.

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Lord,
in the quiet
in the waiting
in the promises of Old
we see You.

Our hearts are touched
Just brushed
with a promise of more…
Longing
waiting
seeking
caring
carrying
lifting us beyond
the anger of the moment
the worries for tomorrow.

Your hope renews us
with the promise of more
of life
of hope
of grace
of the Christ Child
Born
for us again.
Amen.

And Amen.

Cross-posted: Friday Prayer

Cross-posted over at RevGalBlogPals today

leaftreeyard

silently and gently
falling and failing
changing and resting
seeking you, Lord…

we watch
we wait
we dream
we pray…

for the earth to renew
for our hearts to soften
for your grace to cover us
for your justice to pour out
for time and space to listen
for courage to act

on the edge of Advent,
we sit with you…
we pause…
we hurt…
we repent…
we rage…

When will it be?

Will it ever be?

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Amen.

In the wild unknown of the Spirit


It’s an adventure… walking by faith and saying to the Divine, “Ok, I am willing.”

Part of me tenses up in fear. I wonder, “Is this like praying for patience, and then getting a boatload of opportunities to practice BEING patient?”

No, I know I’m on a journey. At times, it’s a wilderness wandering, full of sacrifice and drudgery. At times, it’s impossible to know if I’m right/wrong/deceived/inspired. And at times,  it is being willing to step into a role that no one else wants. It’s being willing to take on the task that is so full of the unknown that it is anxiety-producing, a place where God has tasked ME with doing the hard work of living out Love, Joy and Peace where others have failed.

Walking in the wild unknown of the Spirit is terrifying. It’s much easier to find a version of Christianity that sets me in lockstep, with black and white lines. But that’s not the contemporary culture we work, play and minister in, is it? For as I read and pray, I acknowledge that I don’t worship a demagogue. I don’t expect a “holy ZAP!” at any moment. That’s not the image of the Divine I know. That’s not the relational, covenantal God of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah. That’s not the  One who called me to ministry and care of others, in the Church and outside it. That’s absolutely not the God who welcomes, affirms, nurtures and empowers.

The problem is, the picture of the Creator most people know is  a familiar, transactional Patriarch. The “3-strikes-and-you’re-out” expectation that is impossible to please. The Divine image that is yelled about by ultra-conservative folks who preach an inaccessible Person, One that only chastises and lists rules. The Holy One who is broken down into 3 easy steps and a book with a video teaching series for your Adult/Youth/Children’s ministries.

It feels overwhelming to walk this authentically wild and unknown road. But yet… I am called to it, in places and way that I don’t yet fully know for sure, but there is no doubt that I do not walk it alone. God is with me. And I have full confidence that nothing is out of God’s touch and God’s help.

I’m challenged by the words of Mary Oliver, longing to live out my “one wild and precious life” in that wild unknown of the Spirit. 

I heard TobyMac’s song Beyond Me this afternoon while running errands…  And it encouraged me. Perhaps it will help you, too, on your journey. You can listen to it here…
Call it a reason to retreat
I got some dreams that are bigger than me
I might be outmatched outsized the underdog in the fight of my life
Is it so crazy to believe…
That you gave me the stars put them out of my reach
Call me to waters a little too deep
Oh I’ve never been so aware of my need
You keep on making me see
It’s way beyond me…

Songwriters: David Arthur Garcia / Toby Mc Keehan
Beyond Me lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

Friday Prayer: Spent

Cross-posted over at RevGalBlogPals:

JMaple1

 

Divine One,
I sing an “Alleluia!”
to the frailty
the glory
the richness of color
in a gasp of glory.
O Holy One,
in these leaves we see
your Divine creative spark,
and a reminder that we are frail and failing.

In seasons of drabness,
in moments of weakness,
in longing for warmth
and hope
and peace,
may we see you,
may we know you,
may we renew our hearts and minds
and prepare to bud forth
with an “Alleluia!”
again and again.

Amen.

Friday Prayer: We are here (cross-posted)

Published over at RevGals this morning:


We are here, Holy One.

We are here as witnesses
To those who hurt
Who cry
Who rage
Who have been abused
Who have died
Who have been treated unjustly…

We are here, Holy One.
We lift up to You
Our Maker and Redeemer
The silent tears
The raging fears
The pain of years…

We are here, Holy One.

How much we need
Your soothing balm
Your winds of change
Your waves of justice
Your powerful grace
Your love encircling us and our weary world…

Amen
and Amen.