How Long, Oh Lord?

The Christmas lights are everywhere. The decorations are taking over. Even on the highway I find cars with elf ears, wreaths on the front bumper, a red-Rudolph nose. Even when it all sort of blends together, there are two tiny narrative voices let me know what I have tuned out.

“Look! White lights”

“I see Santa!”

“A Santa hat light up dinosaur, that’s weird!” (Juliet is right though, that is a little weird.)

Our stockings are hung. Our tree is up. We even have a train around the tree-skirt that the girls keep knocking off the track because they cannot resist touching it. (Even they have been told repeatedly to keep their little hands off the tracks.) The nativity set has been set up and yesterday Priscilla was having the angel and Mary protect baby Jesus from a flying dragon.

But I’m not ready.

I’m not ready for the sparkles and the sugar and the general holiday cheer. I am just not ready. I read somewhere that Advent, the time leading up to Christmas, used to be a lot like lent. Somber, thoughtful, sad even. The Jewish people waited a long long time for the savior to come, and  Advent is a season to remember the waiting.

And aren’t we all waiting? Waiting for the very things we light the candles for, for hope, for peace, for joy, for love.

How long, Oh Lord?

And some of us are waiting for things we have been promised, hopes whispered into the air, dreams buried deep into our hearts. Another year is coming to a close and still there is no…… How could that be?

How long, Oh Lord?

Some of us are just waiting for this life to hurt a little less, to be a little easier, for space to breathe. We need something to give and we are afraid it might just be us.

How long, Oh Lord?

I am done fighting the darkness with fake cheer and a light up dinosaur clad in a Santa hat. I am leaning into the darkness, the waiting, the lament.

How long, Oh Lord?

And I am lighting the candles, of Hope, of Peace. I am choosing to say, I know the end, and this is the waiting. We are waiting, but we are lighting the candles anyway, because we believe that the Lord will come.

But you can hear us crying in the darkness,

How Long, Oh Lord?

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5 thoughts on “How Long, Oh Lord?

  1. What I long for may not be what God wants to give me. Israel wanted a conqueror to defeat Rome – they got a baby in a manger who became the one hung on a cross to conquer sin. I am learning to believe that God’s ways are higher than my ways, that He has plans for me – plans for hope and a future. I am learning to ask, “God, what are you doing and how can I join you?”

  2. I get this, Abby. And Kelley Nikondeha and I are writing about it over at SheLoves this month. Thank you for this spot of beauty and honesty in a difficult season.

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