Advent

I suppose we are technically beyond advent, this day past Christmas. But waiting is such an inherent part of our lives in the grand scheme of things that I’ve grown to like living in anticipation. No matter what’s moving, something else is on hold, sitting on the back burner, simmering.

I’m particularly fond on this image of Nina at my parent’s door. Her waiting is not particularly patient, but it’s always eager. In this case, she’s yearning after my mother’s kitties who have permanently taken cover in the wood shed for the week. Nina wants a kitty for Christmas. Very Badly.

All fall, I have less than graciously been demanding that God provide snow for Christmas. We were excited a week ago to see that snow was predicted for Christmas Eve. Then the radar went fickle and we dropped into deepest despair. Finally, Christmas Eve at dinnertime, snow began sifting down. Within a few hours, we had several inches. I can’t recall a single Christmas where we’ve ended up with such a beautiful fall of snow so perfectly timed. God even dropped an inch on Atlanta while He was at it!

There’s another family waiting. Near midnight on Christmas Eve, David and I hiked back through the woods and down to the field near my old high school, Nina frolicking through the white stuff and collecting a feathery white sweater. A graveyard edges on the field, and as we approached, green and red lights glittered faintly from one headstone. An inch of snow dusted over the headstone:

CONNER
“Conman”
February 29, 2008 – March 9, 2010

… a handful of wrapped packages, a tiny basketball and hoop, blinking Christmas lights, and music box Christmas carols.

Somewhere, near, a family’s hearts are shattered as they wait for mending. I don’t know whether they wait in hope or despair. “Hark the herald angels sing…” the tune was plaintive.

…Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth…

I hope they know what they’re waiting for.

As David etched in the snow, “May Christ be with you.”

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