Here in Galveston, we have reached a stage in our recovery from Hurricane Ike that is characterized by a great deal of waiting. Waiting for the insurance adjuster, waiting for the contractor, waiting for FEMA, waiting for the check in the mail, waiting for a roof over our head. Waiting, and lots of it!
How fitting it is to reach that stage during Advent, when our waiting is set in the context of God's redemptive plans. People of faith have done a lot of waiting and learned something from it. I am reminded of this comment by the late Henri Nouwen:
"Waiting, as we see it in the people on the first pages of the Gospel, is waiting with a sense of promise. 'Zechariah...your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son.' 'Mary...Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son.' (Luke 1. 13, 31) People who wait have received a promise that allows them to wait. They have received something that is at work in them, like a seed that has started to grow. This is very important. We can only really wait if what we are waiting for has already begun in us. So waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more."