I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in God’s word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning.
Psalm 130: 1, 5-6
“How long does this take? I mean to get over it, how long does it take?”
In my work with hospice, this is a question that I’ve heard more times than I can count, “How long?” Greif comes to us in great and small ways. We experience the death of those we have loved. We live in and through loss of relationships, loss of our life-dreams, loss of independence. And with this grief so often comes deep, disorienting, debilitating pain. And we cry out aloud and silently…”How long?”
This psalm’s beginning words lead us in today’s reflection, “Out of the depths have I called to you.” With desperation and with hope ~ both ~ the words find us. The cry of pain meets us where we find ourselves to be. For the writer of these words, we have no way of knowing whether it physical or spiritual pain. And yet, centuries later we know, we feel the words come alive within us this day.
Psalm 130 reminds us of the ageless, spiritual practice of watching for the morning. We acknowledge morning coming on our time-pieces, as well as it entering into our hearts. Literally and symbolically morning means that light is returning. With its arrival is our heart-felt anticipation of something brand new; we lean into a reassuring promise of a fresh start. What has been is gone. Time after time morning holds trusted-hope for our weary souls.
As we close this second week of Advent, we are coming now to better understand the intention of waiting and watching. And as our days and nights move in and through these long nights ~ moving into the coming of the dawn, we now are coming to sense the shifting from darkness to light. Waiting and watching for morning invites to notice that we are living in and through getting from there to here. We know well the darkness that enfolds us. We know because we have lived it, step-by-step and breath-by-breath.
As we turn again, and fix our eyes on the horizon and watch for light’s returning ~ we wait. We watch. We pray with hope.
Breath Prayer: “My soul” “is waiting”
Gather in our spirits this day, Loving God. Calm our anxious places, and return us to your lovingkindness. As we await the Promised One, may we be open to the gifts and lessons along the way. For today may we live into the trusted-hope that companions us, drawing us ever closer to your grace-filled presence. Amen.
believes in beginnings and beginning again, in holding on and letting go, in God's presence as close as our next breath. Lesley works as a hospice Bereavement Coordinator in Atlanta. She is an ordained minister in the UCC and has just completed her second book, "Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon in 29 Days" (to be released early in 2015).