Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wandering with a Waiting Abbess....

I am happy to be inspired to contribute to the December Synchroblog - Advent As A Journey.  I am still relatively new to the whole idea of "Advent" ... coming from what I have learned is a "low church" background.  Once I got over feeling slighted...  :^) ... I've enjoyed embracing this -- and many other "high church" traditions.  But, of course, in my special "abi-normal" manner!

My third year with Advent (you might have noticed that I did not blog through Advent last year ... I was, well, journeying through it) finds me in a very different place in my Journey with Jesus.

As I have been deconstructing "religion" over the past few years, my journey has been one of asking hard questions and being willing to be led out into a kind of desert detour -- where the bustle of life does not intrude so much and the heart is better able to hear that still, small voice of our amazing Papa.

No one comes out of a desert detour without being changed.  I am no exception.  I would also suggest that no two desert detours are the same journey ... for that is one of the things I have learned over the past four years:  just as each of us are unique, our journey with our Triune God is unique.  Formulaic responses are less than satisfactory.

This, then, is my Advent of Reconstruction.  I have pretty much finished deconstructing my religious experience and have begun reconstructing my relationship with Jesus ... as sister and as part of his Bride, the Church.

But there is an interesting leg of the journey between "de" and "re" construction.

Grief ... mourning ... letting go of all the expectations which have disappointed -- sometimes enslaved -- my heart and kept me from joining the Great Dance

Part of the problem is that I did not have dancing shoes.  Or, more precisely, I did not take off my steel-toed shoes necessary for the process of demolition, where dangerous pieces of brokenness threatened harm.  I was nearing the end of my desert detour when I realized that I had been slogging through the desert in battle boots!  How they slowed my steps, draining my energy, tripping me up with their "protection."

Then, I arrived at an oasis.  With a lovely pool of water.  How I longed to put my tired, aching, dusty feet into that inviting pool.  But like Eustace-the-Dragon, Aslan needed to "undress" me ... lest I foul the water.  So Jesus helped me take off my boots.  He drew water from the pond and washed away years of caked-on debris.  My feet were so refreshed that I no longer needed to wade in the water.  And then he did the most amazing thing:  he brought me dancing shoes.  Beautiful, purple (of course!) satin shoes.  Shoes that will not wear out -- like the sandals of the Hebrew people in the desert -- because they are Eternal shoes.  They are shoes made by the Spirit / Sarayu.  They ARE because God perceives them.  They are Kairos shoes ... and like Dorothy's Ruby Slippers, they can take me Home at any time ... when I understand their power.

So, this Advent, I am journeying in my new purple dancing shoes.

I have put all white candles in my Advent Candelabra ... because I am embracing a life of greater and greater simplicity ... and I could not find the right colors this year as I did back in 2007 ... and Papa helped me see that the color of the candles is not important.

This year, we are going through Advent with the Mosaic Bible ... in a relaxed and simple time before dinner.  (I am excited to go through the entire year with this wonderful tool.  It is a very Ancient/Future kind of thing!)

Last week we read and thought about Longing -- Waiting for the treasure that Jesus is.  We talked about how some things just take a long time.  (Like grieving the loss of everything familiar that you had built your life around -- beware the process of deconstruction, it will tear down more than you are expecting!)

And this week we read and thought about Hope -- Hoping for Hope that shines like a light in the darkness.  We talked about how difficult it is to wait for things we really want ... and that sometimes we just have to hope for enough hope to be able to wait until the time is right.

So, this wee abbess is grateful that the Waiting of Deconstruction and Mourning is passing ... and is Hoping for the Hope that comes with her new purple dancing shoes.  (Perhaps now the Spirit will release me to write about Perichoresis ... that Great Dance!)

Hope does not disappoint us, because our Hope is not in people or religion or any other human ideas or institution.  Our Hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ ... for whose birth the whole of creation longed, waiting until the fullness of time had come.

As each of us wait, may we all come to realize that the fullness of time is unique to each of us as we journey with our God.  May you wait patiently for your dancing shoes ... I hope to see you in yours in the Great Dance.

Be blessed....

Waiting ... Not for Advent, but for Comments to be Moderated!

Thanks to those of you who commented on my Anniversary Blog Post ... I somehow didn't get the notification that there were comments awaiting moderation.  So, for those of you who wondered if your comments went into the Cyberspace Black Hole ... no.  There visible now.

Blessings to you ... and I'll get over to respond to them just as soon as I put up my post for the December Synchroblog - Advent As A Journey.