am i to retreat?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

i wrote yesterday of being quiet.

of being silent.

when, i think, the point of His speaking to my heart is that i give my words first and foremost to Him before i place them on the screen before you.

i remember, being so young, watching the images of anne grieving the loss of her matthew.  her grief, to one who had never experienced it, was romantic, beautiful...easy.

grief, as this year has shown me, is not any of those things.  it is raw, ugly...hard.  why would i want to fill waiting space with harsh images in a season of joy and peace and good-will?

but isn't that why He came?

this world that we live in, that long-ago world that He was born into, was harsh, brutal...ugly. He came to bring Himself Who is Peace and Love and Beauty into an environment that is so far from.

am i, are you, not a vessel that He can use to usher in His Light in a season enshrouded in darkness?

we prepare for christmas as though Jesus might come to us again through the crib of bethlehem. this remembrance brings some Light. but the Light we need most at advent, we avoid. we grasp the Light of the past but avoid the Light of the future. faced with the future we dodge back into darkness. the Gospel tells us to prepare for His coming with great power and glory. are we prepared for this kind of advent? we want to be liberated from the darkness of this world? do we know how near our liberation is?  and what have we done to help to make the Lord's highway straight?  these are the advent question crying in the dark wilderness of our hearts.  ~ john baillie

and what have we done to help to make the Lord's highway straight?

that question pierced my very being tonight as i read the words.  what have i done?  what am i doing to help?

you are the light of the world. a city set on a hill cannot be hidden. nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. in the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 
matthew 5:14-16

i sat for a few moments tonight, after tucking in sleepy children, looking at my tree that still stands bare save for an angel perched on the highest bough.  bought pre-lit, there is a section that remains dark despite repeated and now abandoned attempts at discovering the culprit bulb that robs the others the chance to shine.

children try and run circles around our tree all day, causing it to spin and hide the darkened section in the corner where no one can see.

faithfully, i turn my tree back around so that the empty space is displayed.

not for the sake of being morbid.

but, because our tree speaks truth.

this season is a season that speaks of Light.  that awaits Light.  that ushers in Light.


stripped bare of any ornamentation, our lives gape wounded.  underneath the smiles and laughter and cheery fronts, there is pain that has caused places to flicker out and quiet.

what i noticed tonight, however, despite the dark and rather substantial void was the contrast with the lights that were shining brightly.  

the lights seemed brighter because of what was missing.

give your words to Me.  

i still feel His words imprinted so strongly on my heart, but could it be so that He could add His Light to my darkness?  to show that He alone Is what is missing to the void in our lives?

there is only one answer, and i cling to His gentle yes.