Advent’s Dark Days

Courtesy NSSA Lab

Courtesy NSSA Lab

So much of life in the world, for so many people, looks like a long dark road. We are in grief for one more mass shooting; for refugees fleeing terror; for families torn apart; for broken countries and broken people; for angry politics; and for the changes big and small in our lives.

How do we live in a world in turmoil? How do we keep going and trusting and hoping and smiling? How do we not get caught up in the blame and fear?

That, however, is the challenge always. How do we live in balance?

I picked up a small book of Advent Meditations from the work of Henri J.M. Nouwen this morning and opened it to to an essay, Search Amid The Small, to read:

“When I have no eyes for the small signs of God’s presence–the smile of a baby, the carefree play of children, the words of encouragement and gestures of love offered by friends–I will always remain tempted to despair.”

This morning, the sun is slanting in from the south edge of the window, here where I write. The oak beyond the edge of our yard has lost most of its leaves and the ones who have not let go look weary and bruised.

Perhaps that’s the message for this day: Let go.

If the leaves don’t let go, a new leaf can’t take its place. If we don’t let go of our fears and worries, hope has no place to grow. Letting go does not mean not caring. It means trusting something new will grow if we offer it space.

I offer words of encouragement for you to keep going. One step at a time. One smile at a time. Words of kindness for you to pass on to others. We can bring peace to these dark days. We can be a light for others to see by.

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7 thoughts on “Advent’s Dark Days

    1. Janet Sunderland says:

      Nicely said, Tony.

      I wish we’d remembered you were in Sarasota. We were in Tampa with son Nathan and Cliff fished off the Sky Bridge and caught a baby shark. And we talked about you, but we hadn’t taken a computer and we thought you were farther south. Now we know. Send us your contact info via email and I’ll get it in the phone. We’re still hoping to get down there for spring ball. Eventually.

  1. shoreacres says:

    Exactly. One reason I chose not to post about recent events is that there’s too much being said already. People need spaces where they can ponder other things: sunlight and shadow, the turning of the season, the beauty of words and images.

    Our 24/7 news cycle, and the incessant media replaying of tragic events isn’t helpful. We need to look away. We need to have someone say, “Look at the star.” (And there it is: the hook for a story I’ve been waiting to tell. Maybe this will be the year.)

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