Her familiar voice from two time zones away, driving home to her husband after a day of teaching.
"I've been reading a lot of psalms on waiting."
I switch ears. Rinse the soap off a bowl, set it aside to dry.
"That one... oh, I can't remember the reference. It says 'I believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord. In the land of the living.'"
"Ohhh yeah... I love that one."
We sit quietly on the phone together for a few beats. I think about waiting. The waiting they've been doing, waiting I feel. I think about what a promise to see goodness in the land of the living might and might not mean.
She drives. I scrub the sponge across a cookie sheet. She completed paperwork for an IEP for one of her students this week and the special ed department was crazy helpful. I had my semester evaluation with my supervisor yesterday, it was unexpectedly encouraging. They're going out to dinner with friends from small group tonight. I bought quilt fabric today, gorgeous batiks in browns and greens.
"I've been hanging out in this passage in Isaiah..." I tell her.
Enlarge the place of your tent, and let your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.
We talk about it being hard to continue to make room- to keep stretching out, enlarging... in hope. Hard to continue to wait to see the goodness of the Lord in certain fallow places; to believe that we will see it here, "in the land of the living". Easier to put up walls, move on, stop hoping for certain things, stop allowing any empty space at all. Enlarge. Stretch. Lengthen. Strengthen. Do not hold back. Room-making words. Waiting words.
My full heart, as I connect with this beloved friend, baking bread in my little kitchen in the community I love. Her full heart, driving home to his arms, pouring herself out every day for the kids she believes in. Her waiting heart, her frustration and confusion, her cries to Him. My waiting heart, my fear and longings, my cries to Him.
Her dance performance this weekend was so much fun. She was supposed to babysit some friends' kids but they cancelled. My morning client didn't show so I got to start my day with a half hour reading over coffee. I have my tree up and friends have filled it with ornaments. So I'm considerinnngg this thing that probably doesn't make sense... well, sometimes God calls us to hard things, I'll be praying. Thanks, babe.
She's home, time to get ready to go out.
Love you. Love you. Talk to you this weekend. Sounds good.
My dishes are done. The dough is risen and ready to be put in the oven.
It's advent. We're full. We love. We're thankful and happy. And we wait.
"The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul,
who know themselves to be poor and imperfect,
who look forward to something greater to come.
The Holy One Himself comes down to us,
God in the child in the manger.
The Lord Jesus comes.
We are no longer alone. God is with us."