Day 2 – Waiting

Day 2: Waiting

Luke 1:5-25


So here we sit with the ripeness of our longing, wondering when the time will come at last, and having been reminded repeatedly over the preceding days, weeks, years that we cannot ‘know the hour’. It will come as a surprise… though there may be signs. And what kinds of signs are these? Signs of distress, signs of something ending, signs of all of creation groaning as in a mother giving birth.


And it can feel that way, the letting go required, the breaking-open experienced. How is it that something new can be born only in the midst of pain? Yet how many of us do not know this truth… that our times of greatest trial are our times of greatest Love, that the places of our breaking are the places where Love breaks free our weakened defenses and is allowed out (or in) at last, that the moment of our realization of our brokenness is the place where grace begins to flow until at last we know that our brokenness itself is graced. Oh, but the whole of life is graced, for this is the way Love comes….in the same terribly messy, blessedly beautiful way that anything precious is born into being.


How do we draw comfort from these portentous passages? By holding them to the light of Love, whom we know God to be, and understanding them as creative not destructive, transformative not annihilating, Love not wrath, by trusting in the presence of Love with us through our times of great suffering and sorrow.


This is where we meet Elizabeth, right in midst of this place of deep trust, in this place of abiding in Love. If anyone knows about ripeness, it is Elizabeth. She has been waiting with her longing for so long, wondering when the child at last will come, wondering when she will bear what God has been ripening in her to bring forth. In the end, as it was with Zachariah, we are chosen by ‘lot’. It is not by our own doing or earning, nor in our own time, that our ripeness is gathered. The call will come when the Lover is ready. We are asked simply to remain faithful to Love.


Waiting in Love, Elizabeth settles deeply into the promise that she is loved as she is, despite the disgrace she experiences at the hand of her culture. I wonder, what is the barrenness in our culture that shames us as ‘not good enough’? Career, accomplishment, success, material wealth, physical beauty, romance, power…all these are all things that make us valuable in the eyes of the culture. But the Elizabeth in each of us knows the Truth about value and she waits quietly within for us to embrace it, to settle deeply into the fullness of the promise that our lives are valuable, in ways unseen by others.  And here is the paradox that is present deep within our longing for God, for right in the midst of our longing for ‘something more’ there is also this concurrent ‘all is well’, a full embrace of ‘what is’ that trusts in the goodness and faithfulness of Love right here and now in our present experience, a knowing that this ‘all there is’ is beyond measure.


Here is the child conceived, at this intercourse of ‘all is well’ and ‘something more’, the human and divine experienced in One body. And this knowing, this growing child within, Elizabeth savors as precious, much as Mary will ponder these things in her own heart, safeguarding the sacred in solitude, just her and God in the quiet within until the belly reveals its beauty.


Ripened by life, we wait. We wait for the Lover’s call. We wait to be gathered. We wait for the seed to fall. We wait, with the seed of Life in our bellies. We wait.



Still me, Love, please still me

quiet me with your song

that i may follow it within

to where you wait

for me




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