Where I Am

scrooge Paul Towsend“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” sings Andy Williams over the store’s loud speakers. I can’t get out of the mall fast enough.

On my walk home, I remember that it’s the second week of Advent, and we still haven’t put up our Christmas decorations. I wonder what it would be like to not do it at all.

I have mixed feelings about Advent and Christmas. I enjoy the parties, the lighting of the candles, and the certainty that the One we are waiting for comes. But there is something about this season and its thin veneer of cheer that unsettles me. Part of my Christmas joy is the anticipation of relief when it’s over.

I’m not depressed and nothing bad is happening, unlike one friend who has lost her husband. Mornings and evenings are the worst, she says. Many people I know are not finding this season wonderful. They gasp for breath while waves of pain, loss or rejection wash over them.

I don’t know why I’m uninspired to sing carols or wrap presents. I just am.

I somehow manage to keep up with my Advent readings. In one of them, Isaiah tells me that God “tends his flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.”

In Matthew I read Jesus’ parable about that same shepherd. I imagine him leaving the ninety-nine enthusiasts to seek the curmudgeon who has wandered from the fold.

And where does this Good Shepherd find me? Not on some lofty knoll, where I wish I was but hunkered down in a cleft of rock, waiting for Christmas to be over.

He finds me where I am.

And when he does, he squeezes in, puts his arm around me, and waits there with me.

Good shepherd

“If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not
leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one who has wandered
off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than
about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.” –Matthew 18:12-13

Advent Reflection Questions:

  • If the Good Shepherd were looking for you, where would he find you?
  • What would you say to him? How does he respond to you?

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Love by Dustin Gaffke

Churches in my neighbourhood are actively helping Syrian refugees. Some, like St. Stephen the Martyr, are working with other churches to raise funds and provide support for new refugees. Others are working with existing organizations like More Than A Roof or Journey Home.

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Scrooge” by Paul  Townsend. Used with permission.
Isaiah 40:11
“The Good Shepherd” is by Liturgical Works
“Love” by Dustin Gaffke. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2015.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
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5 Responses to Where I Am

  1. Yes. Thank you for this reminder that God meets me (gently!) not where I wish I was but where I am. I seem to need to hear this often, and no matter how many times I hear it, it’s always good news.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    Thanks, Carolyn. I felt a bit nervous about posting that. I can imagine some people judging me. But I could also imagine someone else feeling the way I do and realizing they are not alone. Yes I am so glad God is where we are–always.

    Like

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