As a native Floridian, the experience of seasons as a part of the rhythm of life did not come until my college years. The impact of color-laden, then barren trees was not unlike a slow-motion magic show. The starkness of winter giving way to yet another unfurling of color, texture and pattern unlocked my imagination and wakened a way to both understand and articulate deep soul-thoughts.
A few years back a friend told me about a writer who related seasons to stages of motherhood. Immediately tracking with this imagery, I saw myself emerging from the “winter landscape” of the early years of three toddlers. The color and pattern of the nine years of marriage without children spent in far-flung places seemed to me like the energy stored in a dormant flower bud waiting to push through the earth and explode into the light.
The practice of quiet, focused waiting during the season of Advent has deepened my vision and enhanced my art. With this particular piece reflecting the waiting of Advent, I considered the generations imagining the promise of a new shoot from the stump of the long-lost Throne of King David and the silence they experienced in the waiting.
When the time was appointed, something unlike what they were looking for emerged from the still, withered, dirty earth.
Many did not notice.
Many did not recognize the bud of the seed of Jesse.
The earth still seemed dry and barren. There was nothing glorious or regal about the little shoot that appeared on the dirt floor of a stable, yet the imprint of God was within, waiting to emerge and bloom Redemption in the midst of weeds and dead things.
We wait with expectation for Glory to peel back the veil that hides Eden.
One day we will see.
Come Thou long-expected Jesus.
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It was at Rivendell the hobbits think through the vocation they have been given, carefully working out the who and what and where of the odyssey that will be theirs. But integral to all that they were, and to all that they would need to be, was the table at Rivendell, a place for the best conversations and the best food and the best drink — simply said, a wonder of wonders." Steve Garber
The never-ending hope of Easter, Writer Andrew Shaughnessy shares reflections on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and why hope and beauty matter. "We hope because we know a day is coming when, to paraphrase Sam in The Lord of the Rings, “everything sad will come untrue,” when our Creator King will dry every tear and bind up the broken hearts and restore the sundered cities and turn the world upside down."