Could a greater miracle take place
than for us to look
through each other’s eyes for an instant?
~ Henry David Thoreau
Advent reminds us that gifts come from expected and unexpected places.
Every month we have been alive we have been given a gift of light in the darkness. Each month we have been given the gift to do the impossible - see in the dark. Yesterday was a full moon, a big round gift right before our eyes.
It will be a kindness to our spirits in this season of Advent to remember that gifts are available at the most unexpected times. It will be a kindness to our hearts to remember to never quit looking for what may come in the longest nights or with the next day’s dawning. Thoreau invites us to not forget to look to one another as well. Kindness to our spirits comes wrapped in many shapes and sizes.
One of the hard things about grief is that we tend to shut down and close ourselves off. It's natural. It's what we do to protect ourselves. Seeing differently, being given the opportunity to shift our focus – if just a little bit - can be a precious present. It can be an invitation this season, to open ourselves up (if just for a little bit). These nights of December’s great moon, remind us that what has felt so stuck and stalled may at some moment be turned on its head. Seeing in the dark can do that to a grieving heart, can wake a heart up at the most best time. Sometimes we just need one thing to remind us that we won’t always feel this lost; we won’t always feel so sad.
And in this season of waiting, in this season of expecting, in this season of longing for what is next – may we have the courage to keep looking. May our hearts take the lead and guide us to what can be next. May we have the wisdom of believing that we can do the unimaginable: every now and then we can actually see in the dark.
Loving and gracious God, remind us to keep looking. Remind us to open our eyes, especially when all we expect to see around us is darkness. Then, with faithful eyes may we see the wonder of what has been there - all along. Comfort those who are hurting this day, we pray. Remind us of your melody of hope echoing in our ears, "O come, o come Emmanuel." Amen.
thanks to Susie for these images of the moon
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan (now a freshman at Guilford College) and Sam at sophomore at DHS in Decatur, GA.