dpp 2012 :: december 15th :: stop, watch, wait, listen


Something has been eating at me for the last 24 hours.  I have searched for scripture that addresses it and came up empty.  I finally realized while processing it with Matt this morning over breakfast that my head and heart are longing for lament.  Looking for Psalms where the writer cried out to God and didn’t end the song with a neatly gift wrapped package, tied with a bow.  Words and prayers that sit in the place of sorrow,  not rushing to a perfect conclusion or a “God soundbite”.  Matt later posted this on Facebook, “Lots of preachers responding to this tragedy and offering scriptures and theology…. My only advice…don’t be too quick to move from lament. Stay in Psalm 42, 60, 74, 80 and Jesus’ ‘why have you forsaken me’ a bit longer. That is where God meets us…not in our well-crafted assurances and defenses of God.

I love this picture of Drew from today.  I have others of him, diaper clad, pen sketched all over his bare legs  (oops, too much unsupervised time with older brother), cow boots on the wrong feet…but this shot made me think.

An airplane flew overhead during our annual cookie baking with Grandma Leila session today.  Despite all of the chaos, sprinkles, food coloring, flour & Christmas songs playing, Drew heard that plane.  {we live under the flight path for Moffet Field, so it’s not hard to have these planes break into daily life!}  Everything stops when Drew hears any airborne transportation.  He sits.  Listens.  Takes it all in.  Doesn’t continue with previously started activities.  He stops.  He watches.  He waits.  He listens.

I am letting myself do the same today.  To stop and to just watch, wait, listen and be ok with lament.  My words are so pithy to encapsulate what is going on in my heart, but Sarah Bessey shared so eloquently today in her post, “In Which We Need Pragmatists & Prophets.”  Here are her wise words—-

We need pragmatists. And we need prophets.We need policy

makers. And we need poets. We need silence. And we need anger.

Lament, go ahead, and I need someone to say it, too, just once, once out loud:

what in the actual fuck has happened here? And no one

can answer me, insufficient despairing. In the night, we are the borderless chorus of mamas,

we need a song, and so we hum old lullabies for empty beds with old Tinkerbell sheets.

We’re watching with those who weep and wait for morning dawn relief, it will

not come and our marrow weeps underneath the tragic optimism of our routine.

We want to snatch our tinies up and run away somewhere, anywhere

surely there is a place we can hide from this horror, the terrors of death.  But we wait

until the bell, we turn off the news, we make spaghetti. I stood outside

my daughter’s classroom yesterday afternoon in the cold sunshine, early, and her face appeared

at the classroom window, grinning gap-toothed, waving,

and I stood quiet on the cracked pavement, because

I was waving back, relieved, and another mother sits vacant and empty

on the floor of a fire house, wondering dull what to do

with her hands now, they have no hair to smooth, no face to wipe,

no pages to turn, that will smooth, wipe, turn this, trying not think

how her baby was scared and she was not there, and I don’t know what to do for her,

so I cry again, and I curse, and pray for peace that passes all understanding.

We need the pragmatists with policy , we need the prophets streaked in ash,

We need the God who sees, and God with us.

Light a candle, light a candle, say

a prayer, redeem us, save us, see us, help us, love us, comfort us.

We need psalmists and pastors and policy makers, we are hungry for justice,

for someone to somehow protect us, and someone must lift us, we’ve soaked

the ground with our tears, though the earth be removed, and the mountains

carried to the sea, and our own babies die in kindergarten classrooms, yet, maybe

tomorrow, someday, perhaps, we will praise again, not today.

December Photo Project 2012

One thought on “dpp 2012 :: december 15th :: stop, watch, wait, listen

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. We light the Advent candles this year with grief stricken hearts. Now when I light each one I want to stop, watch and give our Lord’s coming my rapt attention, like Alex and the airplanes. I want to stop long enough to be present with the One who knows and understands and gives us peace that passes all understanding, enabling me to listen and lament. Alex seizes those moments to learn something new each time–it is how I want to be this Advent.

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