There is a soft, steady rain falling. It announced its arrival this afternoon with one dramatic rumble of thunder, I think just making sure it had my attention. And then it proceeded to carry on its melancholy serenade.
I look through the rivulets running down the window, the blurred sparkle of our Christmas lights giving the raindrops their own moment of brilliance up against the ever darkening shadows as daylight slowly takes its leave.
This is Advent for me. The gloom side by side with the glow. The heaviness mingled with the stillness. The momentary tension between breathing in and breathing out, letting go. The waiting and listening.
Sometimes the melancholy is stronger. The world breaks at the seams. Hateful words and hateful acts and how can we as humanity be so wretched to each other sometimes?
And sometimes hope is stronger. The world surprises with its wonders. Encouraging words and selfless acts and how can this wretched humanity be so beautiful sometimes?
I used to feel that I had to give in to one or the other, to choose. If I chose hope, was I ignoring the broken hearts? If I chose melancholy, was I discounting the power of redemption?
But I know better now. This is the tension we live with, so often experiencing beauty and pain in the same moments. This is the tension of waiting–the beautiful hope of a promise to be fulfilled and the despair of waiting for a promise that seems it will never be fulfilled.
I think this is why creation groans, bowing under the weight of all the glory and all the misery and all the unknown, waiting for light to dispel the darkness once and for all.
Meanwhile, I choose to see. I see the dreariness, but I also see the wonder. They sit together in the window. They sit together in me. So I light the candles and remind myself of His promise to come and make things right–in the world and in me.
The rain falls. The light dances. And I wait.