Advent is a time of waiting…which is something I don’t do well. I don’t want to wait for things…never have and maybe never will. But this year it seems to be a theme…”wait for it…wait for it.” I don’t know when this phrase became popular, but it has now become a part of my vocabulary and something I say to myself often.
I’ve been reading a book by Sue Monk Kidd called “When The Heart Waits.” I’m trying to learn the lessons she shares in its pages. The chapter I am on is “Crisis as Opportunity.”
“For the most part, we do one of two things in response to a crisis. We say that its God’s will and force ourselves into an outwardly sweet acceptance, remaining unaffected at the deeper level of the spirit. People who have a crisis in this manner are generally after comfort and peace of mind.
Or we reject the crisis, fighting and railing against it until we become cynical and defeated or suffer a loss of faith. People who choose this way to have a crisis are after justice.
Yet there is a third way to have a crisis: the way of waiting. That way means creating a painfully honest and contemplative relationship with one’s own depths, with God in the deep center of one’s soul. People who choose this way aren’t so much after peace of mind or justice as wholeness and transformation. They’re after soulmaking.” p. 88
Soulmaking…that sounds like such a noble and otherworldly word. What does it mean? Mystics often use the term “soul work.” It is defined many ways. After looking at many definitions, I personally view soul work as a process of looking deep inside to find my true self…and to seek and find the God-image within that I was created to share with the world.
Perhaps I will need four months or even four years of waiting to peel back the layers and to discover who I am in this time and place.
“Wait for it…wait for it” is a reminder to me to be patient with myself and with others as we move through the next four years.
For many, including me, I see those years as being a time of crisis for our country.
Instinctively, as described in the opening paragraphs, I want to find comfort and peace of mind. But then I slip into seeking and perhaps even demanding justice. But at this time of my life, God is calling me to is to go ever deeper into the process of soulmaking.
I am more familiar with the first two ways of dealing with a crisis. Perhaps this third way will teach me things that up to this point in my life I have been unwilling to learn. I guess I will just have to wait and see.