Sunday, December 1, 2013
the people who walk in darkness
For those one of you that read my blog religiously,you know that this is my favorite season.I cannot say why,perhaps it has to do with simplicity.The woods I look out at have lost most of their color and the branches are bare awaiting the white sun that will glance off their greyness in a few hours.The leaves that are left are beige on the beeches and hardly noticed. These are the weeks before Christmas that the Church designates as Advent.A coming.
For me ,I belive that these four weeks are set aside to remind us of the seriousness of what happened on Christmas: we need to be focused on this-the miracle of incarnation.The candles on the Advent wreath are purple and pink not gold,red and green.And the Bible readings for this season are always about light shining in the darkness.And so I must be awake and aware and look for that light and be that light.
But first in my meditation,I think of darkness.With sadness, I see in my mind a shopper taking a stun gun to the store on Black Friday to ward off anyone else taking what they want.I hear the muffled scream of the employee on the Long Island Wal-Mart floor who is being trampled to death on the same day by shoppers.The baby in the stable weeps.Remember that old fashioned exhortation,"Love your neighbor as yourself?"
This is what the world looked like before the Coming that we wait for.But the Coming is an historical one and a personal one and we are in control of whether we let it happen.Let that baby in.The Christ."The people that walk in darkness"the prophet said.We are those people and the darkness is thick and frightening.
I saw that light in a story posted on Facebook on Thanksgiving about a woman in Chicago who years ago served coffee and donuts to commuters and a universe full of love with it.When this simple woman died those she had shone on wept openly.The world needs this so much.Do we have the time?
When young ,I worked in W.T.Grant's on Long Island.When I read this story about another young salesclerk it touched me with recognition.In another store on Christmas Eve, a young girl was watching the clock for closing time.Fifteen minutes before the door was to be locked, a disheveled lady walked in with a big list and hope in her eyes.The young girl pondered finding a way to slip out and let someone else help,she so wanted to go home, but something pushed her to walk up and offer.Years later, she would recall that those moments helping a stranger sing still in her heart.Christmas.Light.
Some may say I'm a dreamer and that life isn't like that.I am beyond grateful to say that I don't believe that.That anyone even with a stun gun can be transformed.That's is what incarnation is all about.So, today starts Advent and I am going to be on the look-out for the light that the darkness of even these times cannot overcome.