still

As I write this, we are waiting for snow. I can hear rain on the metal roof of the red barn, but I am straining my ears for quiet. When the rain turns to snow (as the forecast promises it will), quietness will spread the news.

Silence heralds the advent of snow.

There were so many silent years between the words of Malachi and those of Matthew. I imagine the silence building until those who strained their ears, like Simeon and Anna in the temple, could hear the silence speak: He is coming. Hold on. He is coming.

I want to be like Anna.

I want to pray him in with my waiting.

My own season of intense waiting may have ended (with an old Pennsylvania farmhouse and a new baby girl), but I need Jesus more than ever.

I need his presence because, apart from him, this home is just a pile of old bricks crushing us with endless to-dos. Apart from him, there is no hope for me as a mother (the best and hardest thing my firstborn taught me, and it’s a lesson I learn again with each child, is I do not have what it takes).

I desperately need him for today (to give meaning to my dishwashing and the endless picking up of toys), and I need him for tomorrow (because, apart from him, my life has no destination; what am I walking toward?).

And so, this month, I will pause in the midst of online shopping and tree decorating. I will put down the toy catalog and the cookie cutter (which, let’s be honest, will be a relief. I could write a book on the horrors of holiday baking for the child allergic to butter, wheat, and nuts).

I will turn my face towards darkness and watch for light.

I will listen to silence.

I will pray him in with my waiting.

“… come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay.”

(Psalm 70:5)

You can read the introduction to last year’s Advent series here.

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