((Cheating: I wrote this on Sunday. But you get it today… because #interruptedbygerms))
I’m glad that the rhythm of church interrupts our lives.
It is both stabilizing and destabilizing force.
The Sabbath is a steady hand of regularity that meets us with a firm grip, no matter our circumstances. Constant, old, warm and true. Sometimes with bad breath and too much hair spray. So familiar.
At the same time, it is an interruption. A big awkward, anachronistic interjection into our running around. It so often catches my heart off guard! I’m so often soul shocked to be stopped. To be slowed. To be Sunday-ed.
There is an invitation to rest here. And also a challenge to wake up. Wake up to the truth of our own inward state. Have we been battling up hill? Do we find our margins reduced? Have we been running too long on too little? Have we been loving well? Have we been giving what matters?
Where are you?
This is the comforting, yet unnerving, call of Sunday. It’s God’s Eden voice, beckoning his children into self awareness. “My own child, where are you?”
This morning… the first Sunday of advent… I found myself quivering again on the knife edge of despair. (Oh, why are we not surprised? Hello, my name is Blair, and I am generally not enough for this. I am not the strongest crayon in the box.)
I was so thankful for the gentle cradle of the liturgy which offers a tender retreat to every heart, even when all you can do is follow its lead routinely.
“To You all hearts are open and all desires known…” I whisper in concert with my people. Tears pushed up behind my eyes.
“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest…” Father Joe reads.
On the way down the isle, I side squeeze Colby. Small boy. It smells like he washed today. He wandered in off the street once and now comes every Sunday morning to be loved and fed from the hospitality table. They’ve given him an usher’s sash. He’s marking pews for the Eucharist. This is the body.
I take the Eucharist from the pink sparkly manicured hands of Debbie who calls me ‘Sugar.’
On the way back to my seat, I hug Vickie, the perpetually upbeat. Sometimes I wonder if her glee hides a sorrow. But she is always smiling when you need a smile. Her hug is cosy and ample. Good medicine to my heart.
This is how we wait when all else fails. When our own little journey reverberates with broken moments until they accumulate into one big crash. When anticipation and strength are dead to us. When we need chocolate to be calorie free and a separate zone in the time/space continuum exclusively dedicated to naps. This is how we wait when we are wasted…
We wait with each other.
Leaning hard into grandma arms and the prayers of our fathers. Granting the great “Amen” to the struggles of our sisters on the road of parenthood. Coming empty handed to a communal table where we receive the good food of remembering Love Completed.
We wait together.
When one Hopeful Heart stumbles, the sister beside her will lend a shoulder.
When a strong march turns into a weary stagger, the refreshed ones lift us up until we recover our strength.
We catalyze each other forward in a divinely appointed leap frog dance, from strength to strength. From strength to strength. And in-between are the weary resters being lifted higher.
We were never tasked with muscling up to a Courageous Wait without help, without community, without each other. This is too much for one. This is a job for all of us.
Lean in, dear one. I need to whisper these incredibly important words right to you so that you hear them and they change you… We’re waiting together.