Day 18 - Active Waiting

Day 18

"How do you wait for someone whom you really love?  You do all kinds of things; you have all kinds of surprises awaiting the loved one.  It is an expression of love.  Real waiting always begets this loving "doing".  It eases the burden of waiting, which otherwise can scarcely be borne, as the child knows so well...And now, in Advent, the One whom we love above all is coming.  The Church is giving us these precious days to focus the eye, to let the heart pound because he is coming.  He will come.  By the love of waiting for his little red lights that say, "Step back, now, because someone else needs to be served", we will enter into the deliciousness of the real "Can't wait"...Waiting, rightly understood, is the depth of prayer and the measure of love."

Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.

So often when we think of waiting, we think of passivity.  We think of twiddling our thumbs or sitting on our hands until it's our turn in line.  But real waiting, if it is for something or someone we love, is active and busy.  There's a lot of doing.  It prepares.  It goes to great lengths to make things beautiful and lovely for the awaited.  It uses the time well to prepare as much as possible for the One coming.  It doesn't give up thinking "eh, it doesn't matter all that much anyway.  He'll understand."  I take a great deal of comfort in that on a practical level and let that push me on as we enter into the last week before Christmas.  It's almost here!  Things get busy.  There is a lot to do when you're the one behind the gifts, the feasts, the clean home, the haircuts, and the twenty seven other little things on the list.  It can be overwhelming.  It's important to prioritize and cut away the things that are not worth our time and energy and don't serve the true meaning of Christmas but the things that we discern should remain can be a display of love for Him and for those around us and can be done as well as we are able.  As we figure out the activities and do the work of preparing, they can be part of our gift of love.  

But am I also going to great lengths to make things beautiful and lovely for the awaited in my heart?  After all, that is where He longs to come!  That is where He wants to make His home!  If, indeed, He is almost here, my inward preparations should also intensify and get a little "busier".  We don't just sit and wait idly for Him to come into our hearts.  We buckle down and get everything in right order.  Do I have "surprises" waiting for Him in my heart?  When He comes there, will I be able to say, "Look, Lord, what I tried to do here for you!"  Today as the practical preparations intensify, I want to make sure that I am doing them as an act of love for Him and for those around me.  If the house is clean, the cookies made, and the gifts wrapped but I haven't used that to prepare my heart to be ready for Him, I've missed the point.  If my preparations for His coming are not pleasing to Him, then it would be better had I not done them at all.   I don't want to be baking and sewing and wrapping with a grumbling complaining heart but rather with love and anticipation.  That can be the way that I wait with joy and excitement, one of the ways in which I prepare my heart to be less selfish, more generous, more gracious, a more fitting place for Him to dwell.  See, Jesus?  These gifts I wrapped?  For you.  These cookies?  For you.  All of this?  For you.  May I really truly view and do all the chores, the tasks, the preparations of these last days as an act of love to Him as I prepare for my Awaited to come.  


  1. These last two posts have been excellent! I've been (barely) keeping up a daily Advent blog, and I've really appreciated the encouragement from yours along the way. Thanks.

  2. Very beautifully said. You seem to enjoying the Come, Lord Jesus as much as we are. Blessings to you in these final days.


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