Each year I look forward to Advent, the 4 week period leading up to Christmas. Like Lent, the 40 days preceding Easter, it is a time of reflection and preparation. Rather than going more out into the world and seeking the things of man, I draw inward and focus on the gifts and presence of God. He is Emmanuel, God With Us.
I turn this concept over and over in my mind, as I would inspect and wonder over the facets of a huge diamond, or a prism. Such a gift, so much grace, shown unto me – a woman so manifestly unworthy.
I have not yet lit the Advent Wreath’s first candle. My middle daughter is quite ill and I’m trying to give Him the worry I carry. I will light the candle when she is well enough to smile by its light.
My father has been in the hospital since the middle of the month, at least. He was briefly in the nursing home wing of the Assisted Living facility where he was moved over the summer, but had to be rushed to the ER and from there to ICU. He celebrated his 87th birthday in the Step-down Unit. My brother went to see him on Saturday. He reports that yes, Dad is confused (he has some dementia), but knew he’d made it to his birthday – which made him the longest surviving sibling of his family. My brother gave him another goal, to make it to Christmas. We shall see. He has rejected the Gospel, almost all of the people he knew thru his prime are dead, he most likely will not go out in public again. Being placed in the nursing home is something he definitely didn’t want – no freedom, none of his things.
I am 60 now, and struggling with it. My daughter and I were trying to make some art before she became ill; I painted pages with black gesso and blood-red Twinks. . .
Even so, come Lord Jesus.