A Meditation for the Fourth Week of Advent
I was reading an Advent devotion this morning which sought to capture Mary’s emotions. Joseph was preparing to divorce her quietly because of her pregnancy. She felt alone, bearing a mysterious child in her womb, with only God’s promise to cling to. The final words of the reading encouraged me to cherish the waiting as I anticipate the Christ child’s birth within myself.
This morning at breakfast, my 2-year old son approached the table with a sock monkey inside his shirt, the head sharing his own neck hole. He insisted that he be fastened into his highchair with the sock monkey still inside his shirt. He declared to us that he was, in fact, carrying the Baby Jesus in his tummy. When we asked if we could take the monkey out of the shirt for breakfast, he said, “No, it is not time for him to be born.” He ate his entire breakfast that way, despite the encumbrance of the small monkey head near his mouth.
My son, who tends to eat entire bagels in record time while my husband and I are on our third bites, ate much more slowly this morning because of his Baby-Jesus-monkey handicap. I started to realize that in the midst of his make-believe, he may be grasping the spirit of Advent more than we are.
Sometimes waiting for God’s timing leaves us a little uncomfortable. Maybe we are forced to slow down, take a breath, work around or within an obstacle more gingerly. Whether the “hindrance” is a sick parent, a broken or fragile relationship, a delicate situation at work, or any number of challenging circumstances; we can choose to allow these difficulties to work like leaven in our hearts and lives – or like sock monkeys in our shirts.
Blessings to you as you imagine how Mary must have felt bearing the Christ child within, and take note of your own opportune obstacles as you hope for his second return.Shannon Steed Sigler is a community artist, curator, and theologian. She also serves as the Director of Social Media Communications for BeADisciple.com. Shannon is the mother of a delightful two-year old and the wife of a liturgical scholar. Her own work and research center around a Wesleyan paradigm for the visual arts. Visit her website here.