We will be meeting each other soon, and forming first impressions. The sun we both know will shine on us at the same time, and in the short hours I have with you I pray I will be straining to see.
I’ve been writing to two of your children, a boy and a girl, and I know a little bit about you – about climate and crops and family life – but not nearly as much as I should.
I know there is violence and poverty, illiteracy and corruption. I know there is beauty and I know there is pain.
And I know that I often see the nations of Africa with bleary, blurry eyes, until all I can make out is a giant swirl in the shape of a continent.
Sometimes I struggle to stay attuned to what’s happening outside my own house, outside my own soul; how much harder to stay attuned to houses and souls on the other side of the world.
During Advent, we hold hope and misery, light and dark, at the same time, and it isn’t strange. I’m holding a heart that is open and a heart that is closed. I’m holding many feelings and no feelings. I’m holding brokenness and begging to be made whole.
Let our vision be clear. May our hearts gain the capacity to hold the darkness alongside the light and love despite and in and through all. And make all things right, in the tiniest slivers and the deepest chasms and the lands that are not so far-off after all.
Contribution from Lizzie Goldsmith. Hailing from northern California, Lizzie now lives in Denver, Colorado, and looks to the west as often as she can. She is a writer, a reader, a traveler, a runner. She writes about life and faith, and all the complexities and contradictions therein, at thebendsintheroad.wordpress.com.