Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent tnoughts

I am grateful to be able to be more fully present in advent this year than I was in lent. Although we are feeling a lot of joy in our lives and are so blessed by the love and support of so many people, the dominant feeling of the season is definitely longing. Longing for peace and justice and the Kingdom come on earth. Probably partly because our soundtrack this season seems to be Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God. The whole CD, which starts the Christmas story back in the Old Testament, is so rich, but we're especially moved by "Deliver Us" just now.
Our hands-on lesson in active, faith-ful waiting: We are repainting our living room. Part of the room will be deep redwood, which is a few shades more intense than the color we had there before. But when I opened the paint container and saw the paint, I almost freaked out. Really--it was fuschia. (If you don't know this, we are really not big pink fans around here.) I kept stirring and stirring it, but it was still fuschia. Brianna said, "The guy at the store said it will change to the right color as it dries." Still, covering our walls with anything that color just felt so wrong. But we kept on --doing our part of putting the paint on the walls anyway and waiting for change to come. I am wondering if we are really quite slow at getting the point of this lesson since this paint job has required a full 2 coats and in some places three. Each time we raise the fuschia-drenched brush to our wall is painful for me. But we keep painting and waiting, and our walls are now deep redwood. May we be as faithful in all the less visible ways that we are called to actively wait this season.

Friday, December 3, 2010

'Tis the season in Dallas

Generally, there is just not a much better way for me to start the day than by eating pancakes and listening to Frank Sinatra with the homeless people at the downtown Dallas McDonald's. It is one of the few places in Dallas where I really feel "at home." This morning, however, even the homeless people and security guards are in the midst of passionate (read: loud)debates about professional sports events. Sigh.
"It's autumn in New York."
A couple of guys are even getting testy with each other over the sports section from today's newspaper. But they're on their way out.
"I get along without you very well."
But since I am settled in for a while to grade papers, I am still there when these guys head out and a woman comes in, sets down her assortment of bags, smiles, and says to me, "Doesn't this music just put you in the right frame of mind?"
"Don't change a hair for me, not if you care for me."
She leaves her stuff while she goes to get some breakfast. She comes back and addresses a fashionably-dressed college student: "Are you from Texarkana?" The befuddled student looks blankly at her and finally says, "Uhm, no." "Oh, 'cuz you look like someone from Texarkana." Ah, the right frame of mind.
"Let's face the music and dance."