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Saturday, December 8, 2007


Smoke wafts from chimneys across the valley; toes curl inside pink fuzzy slippers in anticipation of the snow that is expected tonight.

Hope is building as we work our way through The Glorious Coming, and the twigs my boys scrounged on a walk are now dripping with symbols from the Story.

But my to-do list is pages long...wrap ornament for exchange chocolates for nursing home baskets...finish Christmas letter... Unessentials side-by-side with essentials, and the days turn over and over. I find myself physically reaching out, straining to grasp at the thread of time that flows so quickly during Advent.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer spent his last two Advents in a Nazi prison during the final days of World War II. His view of the season from behind concrete walls speaks volumes to me...

"A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, does various unessential things, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent."
-Letters and Papers from Prison
How do we wait?

In a quiet, unexpected whisper while heads are bent to lessons… “He is coming…”

Faces lift, and mouths curve in knowing smiles. Eyes travel to our Advent calendar nearby; the inn at Bethlehem is open for business, shepherds are assembling, and Mary and Joseph? They wait…

How do we hope?

In an arm of comfort, stolen around the shoulders of a sobbing, penitent boy. "Will I ever stop sinning?" Looking into teary, amber eyes and telling the story again… how sin separated, and He simply could not bear it. And how the One we wait for brings hope in his wake, as stars gather in the tail of a comet. All is not lost.

This Advent, this preparation time, let us remember as we do various unessential things to wait and hope in the midst of it all. And if we listen over the hustle and bustle, we will hear the gentle knock of the One who has unlocked the door of freedom forever. Fling that door open with me, friends, and enter the season.

You are always welcome at my little place - A Path Made Straight

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Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

Elise - beautiful! If we could just imagine the quiet of Bonhoeffer's cell, the desperation and yet quiet hope of WAITING for freedom. It brings an entirely new perspective to the time of advent. And today, to wait and hope for the second coming with the same sense of anticipation!

December 8, 2007 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

I understand this longing and waiting much more this Christmas. Our friends lost their 19 year old son in a car accident. I agree with Paul more than ever when he said, 'to live is Christ, to die is gain'. I love life but I won't be disappointed when the Son comes the second time to put an end to pain.

Beautiful as always, Elise! :)


December 8, 2007 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Bless you dear.

December 9, 2007 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Very nice. I also love your simple and meaningful tree. :)

December 9, 2007 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger lori said...

I need all the reminders I can get...
wait, hope and BE STILL...
don't miss the knock in the busyness!

December 11, 2007 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Loni said...

So beautifully shared. We are also using Ann's advent devotional with our little pinecone tree. Thanks for sharing.


December 15, 2007 at 8:58 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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