Thursday, December 22, 2011


On the first Sunday of Advent, my new pastor read a quote from Quaker writer Parker Palmer,
"The insight at the heart of nonviolence is that we live in a tragic gap - a gap between the way things are and the way we know they might be...we must learn to stand in the tragic gap, faithfully holding the tension between reality and possibility." 

I have learned this year, perhaps for the first time, that Advent is a season of profound longing. 

I have one friend whose newborn baby has a rare, aggressive form of cancer.
His tiny fragile body must soon undergo chemotherapy.
I read my friend's updates on Facebook, and I stare at the screen and weep. 

I have another friend whose 22-year-old son died suddenly of an aneurysm last weekend. 
His funeral is tomorrow, and I will be there alongside my parents as we watch our precious friend bury his son.

I sit with the horror of this pain, knowing it reflects so much more of its kind, worldwide.

And I know I speak for many when I cannot help but ask, Why at Christmas, of all times?

And the answer comes back, over and over, because this is why God became human in the first place.
This is why we enter into Advent.
This is why we wait.

Jesus was born into a world where the king wanted to kill him, and therefore ordered the slaughter of all male children under the age of two.
Mary and Joseph were trapped in a lonely cave with livestock, without their families or friends, devoid of rejoicing voices.

This is the same world that God created and entered; the one that He passionately believed to be worth saving.

We cannot reverse what has gone so horribly wrong.
We can only cry out to the One who makes Restoration possible.

Even if our prayers are bumbling and threadbare at best...

I'm SO angry, and so terribly sad, and I don't understand any bit of this primordial stew of suffering.  
But please, please help. 
We need the comfort, love, and peace that only You can bring. 


Erin said...

Thanks for this, Stacey. Funny, but I posted somewhat similar thoughts today too.

Erin said...

Only I think you articulated it better.


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