On the Way to Bethlehem

GrayClouds       The Advent calendar we used when our sons were little came with a book.  My sons took turns opening the windows of a cardboard Bethlehem where they would find a symbol.  That picture or symbol would then be found on a page in their book where a short story explained it.  I will always remember their fingers pulling the windows open to discover what was uncovered.  The very first window opened to a dark, menacing cloud, sign of the troubled times for the people of Judah  long ago.

Like those who longed for help and hope groaned under the darkness of oppression and fear, we come as Advent begins each year with our dark clouds of doubt and anxiety as we again seek hope and light.  I love the poetry of Ann Weems.  She wrote from a place of loss and vulnerability, with transparency and honesty sharing both her pain and her faith.

Yesterday’s Pain

 “Some of us walk into Advent
tethered to our unresolved yesterdays
the pain still stabbing
the hurt still throbbing.
It’s not that we don’t know better;
it’s just that we can’t stand up anymore by ourselves.
On the way to Bethlehem,
will you give us a hand?”
Ann Weems, from her book,
copyright 1980, Westminster Press

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