Wednesday, December 4, 2013

in Advent.

from last December.

I'm doing dishes in soft pajama pants and a tank top, thankful to be home with only reading to do the rest of the day. The phone is pressed to my ear. My bread machine mixes yeast into flour behind me.

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.

"Oh yeah?"

"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.

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Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.