THE ADVENT PACK *
The latest Advent tradition, one that I invented today
because it will be the only one the inspirationalists haven't yet turned into a cute fad.
The Advent Pack: A new way of waiting without standing still.
Buy it somewhere on the road, far away from home (whatever that means anymore),
no farther than that, far away from anywhere you've been.
Fill it with the holiest things you know, but, knowing how little you know,
ask my advice before you go.
Your rosary, blessed by the obviously mad hermit who gave you water for nothing;
that high school copy of Catcher, with your high school name still scrawled within the scotch-taped cover;
that picture of your kids, the time Matt was home from Notre Dame;
those illegal rocks Catherine brought back from the Theatron of Dionysus;
the red bandana your sister gave you;
your youngest child (you can drop her off at college when the time comes);
that bird, the Advent bird, who weeps and waits and wonders while perching on one leg;
white chocolate pancakes stuffed with nutella;
at least one Dior tie;
something Russian, Baltika #7 for example;
four guitars, a mandolin, the old pump organ, and the ukelele;
the journal your students gave you twenty years ago;
dancing shoes (for Kalamazoo);
the footsteps of Bonhoeffer retraced in love;
a book of the miracles of the Virgin Mary;
her eyes, precisely;
a rather girly scarf;
your momma's last hidden bottle of scotch;
your brother's sense of humor;
South Padre Island, especially swimming with your dad;
and Paul Ricoeur.
Some would say, no, get rid of all that,
so there will be room in your Advent pack for the One we await.
And maybe Blessed Mary, in order to be blessed, got rid of all her hunger,
her wonder, her little loves, and her special places sometime before or after
that scary angel showed up, wagged his/her finger, and said,
girl you are full but you 'bout to be fuller.
I don't think she did. I hope she didn't.
I'm not, anyway.
If any of this is true, I think He can come on in and find me here with all my loves.
Grace is gifts, exactly what my Advent Pack is stuffed with.
I'm full, packed, ready to go. Glad for grace.
Oh come on already, Emmanuel.
*this meditation was first posted in December 2012