Awaiting His Arrival: From Silence to Time Suspended


 Immediately his (Zechariah’s) mouth was opened and his tongue set free,
and he began to speak, praising God:
because of the tender mercy of our God,

by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.

~Luke 1: 64, 78-79


Upon the darkish, thin, half-broken ice
There seemed to lie a barrel-sized, heart-shaped snowball,
Frozen hard, its white
identical with the untrodden white
of the lake shore. Closer, its somber face—
Mask and beak—came clear, the neck’s
Long cylinder, and the splayed feet, balanced,
Weary, immobile. Black water traced, behind it,
An abandoned gesture. Soft in still air, snowflakes
Fell and fell. Silence
Deepened, deepened. The short day
Suspended itself, endless.
~Denise Levertov “Swan in Falling Snow”

And we are silenced too by our questioning the motives of God, by trying to be God ourselves, and so sit suspended, immobile, in the darkening quiet, waiting, waiting.
We are met by the tender mercy of His light illuminating our deepening, raised to the eternal, suspended, forgiven endlessly.




5 thoughts on “Awaiting His Arrival: From Silence to Time Suspended

  1. What is it that will melt the half-broken ice of our nearly frozen hearts?
    What is it that we fear from the intimacy of the eternal loving embrace that awaits us within?
    What is it in our life that keeps us from saying, ‘Yes, sweet baby Jesus, I accept your gift — here is MY gift to you.”

    We know by faith that the ‘gift’ that awaits us is what we need – what the entire world so desperately needs more than any material thing that exists or that we could ever want — and yet, we are afraid to open that gift so freely given – no strings attached – a gift for which a terrible price has already been paid. No credit or debit card was used. The Incarnate God’s suffering and ignoble death splayed upon a tree was the method of payment.

    I cannot look at the cute, innocent pictures of the baby Jesus in his straw crib and not see the Cross in the background. And the reality for us is that our crosses are present there as well.

    Thank you, dear Emily, for your words and their import for me today.


  2. You honor me with your kind words, beautiful woman. But the truth is that YOU are the catalyst that speaks to the Spirit within me that evokes the thoughts in my Comments. It is YOUR faith, your research, pictures, carefully chosen poetry, along with your own comments and interpretation that creates the opening for me to respond to you. Sometimes I do not even realize what I am saying. The words just well up in my mind and then I see them in print on the screen in front of me.

    I think, Emily, that this is the way it is supposed to be among those who try so hard to follow Jesus’ teachings. I am recalling now Teresa of Avila’s dramatic prayer (‘Christ has no body now on earth but yours…’). She is telling us that it is WE who now become the hands, feet, voice of Christ in the world. It is His Spirit’s presence within us that enables us to support and affirm one another. I think that this is true now more than at any time in my spiritual journey. We live in perilous times in which we are beset by unrelenting and very clever spiritual warfare that tries to make us doubt our faith and His promises to us by taking our eyes off Him.

    I am thinking, too, Emily, of the seeds that you have planted – and continue to plant – via this and other posts. When I forward one of your posts it is almost always to a young person (among relatives and acquaintances whom I meet). What a beautiful garden you are growing and will someday present to our Creator-God.



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