Monday, December 19, 2016
Trained Spiritual Director
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:41
I remember cowering in the basement when I was ten years old listening to pounding footsteps upstairs. My parents had gone out for the evening and my sister and I were hanging out in the basement “rec room.” Suddenly we became aware of the pounding footsteps upstairs. Hiding behind the couch, we shook with fear. Who was up there and what were they doing? Would they come downstairs? Would they hurt us? Listening was the only way we had to try to figure out what was going on and if they were coming for us. So while we were trembling, we were listening. I had never listened so intently before. Every fiber of my being was listening.
Waiting for something can be difficult. Waiting in the dark, not knowing what’s going on, not knowing when or if healing, resolution or safety will come is far worse. Trembling fear or quiet despair are natural reactions. We know the advent calendar will surely run out of days and December 25 will come one way or another. However In the advent seasons of our lives when we are waiting in the dark, we don’t know when or if the Holy Light will actually break through to us.
And so we wait. In the dark. Not knowing. All we can do is listen and watch. Fear and sadness can motivate our listening but on our best days hope sustain the watchful waiting. All we can do is keep up the watch and try to nourish our hope through community with God and each other. Gradually we see, feel or hear the tiniest tickle of Holy Spirit’s Light inside of us. If we’re not watching closely enough we might miss it. A subtle movement within like a mother’s first sensations of life growing inside her. Or maybe we feel the hard jab of an elbow as Light shifts things around inside us. The Light can suddenly leap within us or steadily rise like a Grand Canyon sunrise over Yaki Point. But while we keep the watch, we must stay in community with our God and each other. It often takes another’s voice to ignite Light within us. Like Elizabeth, a simple greeting from the Mary’s in our lives can make all the difference.
In our waiting and not-knowing times, sustain us in our watching, Light of our lives. Amen.
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