The Best Gifts Capture the Imagination*
We have journeyed through the promises, messages, hopes, joys, anticipations and expectations of the Advent season as presented in scripture. Unique journeys - unique to me and to my time in life.
I don’t know about you, but I often get tangled in the words. We are encouraged to get to ‘know’ God on a ‘deeper’ level, to be more ‘intimate.’ How is this possible? I get so tangled, that I often end up with a severe and immobilizing case of the ‘shoulds.’ As if there is anything that I can ‘do’ to accomplish all these godly and spiritual movements. I should be doing thus and such or not doing this and that – all as if I were in control of the situation. What I come to so often and why I don’t remember this at the onset of the ‘shoulds’ is that they don’t bring me any closer to knowing God, if anything I know less. But, the goodnews is what happens so often – I experience God when and where I least expect! In the experience itself I am gently swaddled a bit closer to the mystery that is God and maybe know a bit more about me, as I am in God’s experience of me. More often than not, it is in hindsight that I come to this awareness. Here I am struggling with the shoulds and there God is delighting in me – not that I am struggling for struggling sake, but that my desire is sincere and true and hopeful.
I would like to share my Advent experience with you.
Early November I sent my 89 year old mother a planter of 3 amaryllis
bulbs and ordered one for our home. I knew she would enjoy the large
fast growing colorful plant and I, too, anticipated the Christmas
color. What I did not foresee was how these plants would deepen
our relationship and be a living symbol of the Advent Season. From
the very first days when the plants were hardly visible above the
soil, my mother began keeping track of their growth – height,
number of leaves, when the bud stalks began to appear, initial indication
of color, and finally the number and hue of the glorious blossoms.
Two or three times a week she would send me a postcard with the
progress noted in inches, color, number – all the pertinent
statistics. In return I would do the same noting the growth, development
and promise of my plant. It was not in any way a competition, but
a shared experience in the joy, hope, growth, beauty and sheer delight
not only of the plant, but in each other. In commenting on the joy,
she said, “This is more fun than a barrel of monkeys!”
Talk about capturing the imagination!
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