Scanning the Horizon 


We took off from O’Hare Airport in Chicago in the early morning. On the ground the weather was cold and rainy, but as the plane ascended we flew above the thick grey into golden sunshine. It was beautiful.

It’s an old cliche — that beyond the clouds is sunshine. But it’s true. The sun may hide but it can’t be removed. The sun, stretching across an expansive horizon, always wins.

I think about this as I sit in the window seat of row 26. I look past my sleeping husband to my son and mouth the words “Isn’t it beautiful?” He nods and smiles with knowing. We quietly scan the horizon and then go back to our books.

*****

In my faith tradition, this season is the Advent season. After the indulgence of a recent holiday, this is a time of fasting, a time of waiting. In a beautiful poem, Madeleine L’Engle calls it the “irrational season.” 
We needs these times in the church. Times of longing and expectation, times of hope.

My friend Laura says it well:

Advent reminds us that we are the farthest we could find ourselves from optimism and bootstrap-tightening. We don’t need a new gym membership. We need rescue. We are plunged into the woes of Israel, their wandering, their panting for life-transforming, globe-spanning salvation. If we are wise — and I pray for renewed wisdom this Advent — we will make room in our overly taxed bandwidth to let the Holy Spirit guide us out of our numbing addictions and down into the thick of it. Let the gnawing ache ring and discover that we are scanning the horizon for the Messiah.

And so I begin this season — this irrational season of scanning the horizon for the Messiah, knowing that when we seek him, we will find. 

Will you join me?

Blogger’s Note: You can purchase Laura’s beautiful Advent book of poetry here!

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