by Sandra Heska King
I am the handmaid of the Lord
Let it be.
It’s been nine months since the seed was first sown.
Nine months of waiting, growing heavy with time.
Nine months of “I don’t want to move.”
Nine months of sunrise dawning in incremental stanzas.
Nine months of watching God weave new wonders.
Nine months of watching Him unfold the next chapter.
Nine months of finding gold in the gray of worry.
Nine months of syncing my heart’s rhythm with heaven’s pulse.
Nine months of saying goodbye in order to say hello.
Yesterday we signed the papers with a hundred blue strokes
and committed to a new story (new to us, known to God)
far away from loved ones,
in an unfamiliar place
with unfamiliar people.
What if they don’t like us?
What if we don’t like them?
by Mary Brack
There is no power, and the light is fading
as we unload belongings from our wanderings.
Our footsteps bounce off second-thought walls.
We focus now on flaws and imperfections
once hidden by staging’s trappings—
the gouge in the kitchen counter,
the washing machine that hinders the opening of the door.
The towel rack that held those pretty aqua towels has disappeared,
leaving scars where it once hung over the tub.
We wonder where we’ll
put all our stuff, all our stuffing.
But the lake is still,
and we talk of new counters and cupboards
and fresh paint and flowers,
and the fact that this is really just a retention pond,
and we wonder if an alligator lives there,
and should we leave the fence up or take it down,
and should we paint the house or wash it,
and is it really a good idea to have an
electric outlet next to the outdoor faucet?
The full moon’s rising, and it’s growing dark.
There will be light on tomorrow’s boxed day,
and we will sleep on a mattress pumped with air
while we wait for our boxes on the appointed day.
Across the street
a woman retrieves her trash can
and does not wave back.
On one side glow the lights
of reindeer, and the neighbor
responds to us with a gruff greeting.
On the other side, Santa hangs in a window,
and that neighbor, newly home from work,
waits in his car until we drive away.
Nine months has seemed like a lifetime,
Yet nine months has seemed like a breath.
We live in the “already and not yet,”
and we will follow the star and find our way.
Christmas will come here in this new place,
but Christmas is already here in our midst.
He loves us still
and stills us with love,
and we will celebrate
because we live tethered to a manger
and to a cross that lifts the
weight of waiting.
I am the Lord’s handmaid
Let it be.
POEM by Sandra Heska King. “Once a nurse, always a nurse,” some say. But these days Sandra cares for (and cares with) words. She just moved from a large family farmhouse in Michigan to a much smaller home in South Florida. SHK is a wife to one, mom to two, and nama to four. She’s passionate about steeping in stillness, but she also creates mischief and extends hospitality as a “poetry barista” for Tweetspeak Poetry. Find her and her social media links at her blog.
Father God, give me the courage to bear the weight of the wait. May I pattern my heart after your servant Mary. May I be a handmaiden with one response…”let it be as you have said.” I believe you will do ALL you have said. I trust you. Amen. by Michelle Nezat
Share Your Heart
Thank you for joining us in this, the final week of the Advent book club. Our hope is you found it inspiring and meaningful in your Christmas celebrations.
On Day 23, Kris writes
Every page of our life has already been accounted for, and yet for us, here on the ground level, every moment is new and unknown.”
For many of us, our personal waiting will continue long after Christmas passes and the New Year begins. What changes our story is Christ has come! Immanuel.
God is in our midst! He is among us now, serenading us with the song of heaven, a song for which we do not know the words, but the Holy Spirit within us, tunes our hearts to sing along.
How will you celebrate Christ’s coming in the “already, not yet?” Share your thoughts in the comments.
Alleluia, He is here.
Advent Book Club
During Advent, we’re reading Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy.
Week 1: Days 1-7
Week 2: Days 8-14
Week 3: Days 15-21
Week 4: Days 22-25
Lord and Ruler,
Root of Jesse,
Key of David,
King of the Nations,
Come, Lord Jesus.
*from the Antiphons of Advent, upon which the song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is also based.