Advent reminds us, the reality of life is not death, not pain, not trauma but joy. That was the purpose of our original existence, to rejoice in the love of our Creator. It’s why when the world through sin asserts otherwise, we respond with such raw emotion, as indicated in the video of the original attack on the Christmas parade. We know and our hearts cry out to Heaven for what should be as versus what is.
Evil doesn’t make sense, not to the heart.
These days, we see a lot of ink spilled about trauma, about fleeing and fighting and freezing…but the heart’s response is to face it. Not “suck it up,” but address it, seek to heal it, help it, change it, make it something other than pain. That’s why people are driving to Kentucky and setting up food trucks and opening shelters. It’s why our first response to suffering is “Why?” and not “Why not?” If suffering were ordinary, were what simply is, we would not be wounded by the existence of wounds. We would be like animals, and know that sometimes we are prey, and other times predator. It merely is how things are. Our lives, our hearts, our souls know otherwise. We want a world where there is not want. We want a world where there is peace on earth. Why would we long for something so inexplicable not based on experienced reality?
Because our souls have engraved on them, the deeper reality we were created for, the world that is healed.
We must enter through the wounds.
We must journey through the dark night to the manger. We must keep a vigil through the carrying of the cross and at the tomb. All our lives are a journey to Easter. We just don’t recognize it when we’re in the midst of it. The great beauty of the incarnation is the unfathomable reality of God being so inseparable from us, He willed to live and be fully like us. He chose out of love to endure cold, hurt, pain, loss, hunger, betrayal, denial, cruelty, malice, and evil that could only make one cry out, “Why?” to which those who gnashed their teeth at love, cried, “Why not?”
There is a pandemic out there of indifference, far more deadly than Covid. It requires that each of us go out and begin providing the cure as part of our Advent, as part of our attempt to enter through the narrow gates that are the five wounds. As more and more decide there is nothing beyond now, they will see less reason to live for anything beyond the feeling of now. That understanding of life will make more cease to cry out “Why” at suffering and want to help, and more to shout, “Why not?” and view the world not as talking beasts, but as beasts who have lost the gift that came with speech.
So each light you put on your house to remind the world of the true light, accompany with something that brings light to the darkness in the world –be it a charity, time, or kind words. The world needs more than deliberate festivity. It needs an infusion of true joy and that comes only from each of us, reaching out and letting someone else know, they matter, they’re loved. This season of joy and light and beauty and peace, it’s a gift to them, for them, and it’s forever.
Time for me to go to get my chemo. I’ll be praying for you.