Saturday, December 4, 2010

Waiting Joyfully and Hopefully

     Yesterday Kevin and I were running from one thing to the next from 3:30 until 7:30pm. Our first activity ran really late, so we stopped for dinner and missed the beginning of the Advent concert at our church. We slipped in, got to hear several songs sung by kids, teens, and adults, then we slipped back out before the final song, so we could drive to another church where the Cursillo Ultreya was being held.
     Usually, someone gives a witness talk at each Ultreya. I gave one at the last one which was held November 19 in Farmville. They hadn’t been able to line up a speaker for this one, so we had an Advent prayer service instead. For the reflection portion, one of the spiritual directors on the last Women’s team got up and spoke about Advent. She read a brief passage from a book by Henri Nouwen, one of my all-time favorite authors, about waiting. What really struck me was the question she gave us to discuss when we broke into small groups: what steps can I take to wait joyfully and hopefully for the coming of the Lord?
     The question contained a piece of advice I know God’s called me to over and over again: wait joyfully and hopefully. I’m not someone who likes to wait. Most people aren’t. I was telling my group reunion that while I was waiting for a child to change out of wet clothes into clean ones, I tried to imagine what Mary would do if Jesus were taking such a long time changing clothes. My friend blurted out: “Jesus, put your pants on!” We all cracked up.
     In later weeks when I found myself in the same situation, waiting for in excess of half an hour or more for a child to change out of the clothes they’d gotten dirty into clean dry ones, I thought about my friend’s comment and could laugh rather than lamenting that I had to stand there and step by step instruct the child on what to do.
     Oftentimes, prayer, reading, and humor are what help me wait joyfully and peacefully for something or someone. I pray throughout the day, always have my Rosary and a couple prayer books with me, and whatever spiritual book I’m in the process of devouring. My husband, family, friends, co-workers, and the kids I work with often help supply the humor that keeps me going while waiting for people, solutions to problems, and answers to prayers.
     Lord, thank You for the gifts of prayer and laughter which can help us wait joyfully and hopefully for Your coming. Amen.


  1. I like all those things for waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


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