There is magnificent beauty in this photograph—the colors of the sky, the silhouette of the sleeping trees, the brightness of the sun, the reflection and unexpected pattern in the water…
…the groans of creation are present too.
Do you hear them?
A time of immense joy and celebration is approaching. Greetings are exchanged, merry songs sung…
…a deep sadness is also present.
Do you feel it?
There is an ache, a knowing deep in our bones and in our soul that this isn’t how things are supposed to be—death, pain, sickness, broken families, killings, poverty, refugees, hunger, violence, fear, injustice (perhaps we are sensing echoes of Mary’s experiences)…
…even in this, we are being made whole.
Do you sense it?
Before we rush off to the gifts, let us pause and sit in this place of mourning and longing. Look at the photograph again. Behold the beauty, the groans, the celebration, the sadness, the ache, the being made whole. There is wisdom here. This is holy ground.
Like the trees that surrender to this season of barrenness and trust the sun to rise again, can we do the same? The Son is coming…
…He is already here.
Do you see him?
(This piece was originally part of Kavanna House's Advent Reflections. Photo credit: Cliff Engle)
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Nicole Mills is an oncology nurse, cancer survivor, nerd, and contemplative. She has a secret desire to be a nun or a double-dutch jump rope champion. Not being Catholic or able to jump 2 ropes poses significant hurdles, but she remains hopeful.