Pins and needles deep inside, slicing and stabbing as each second passes. There is no comfortable way to lay down anymore, every angle tingles in pain. She cringes from muscle cramps, from the frozen positions she calls relaxation. Her mind won’t stop. Her eyes won’t close. Waiting. Watching.
But for what exactly? Something that will change everything, but she can’t comprehend what it will look like. So her faceless hope dances in the shadows of imagination. Sometimes tangible sometimes philosophical. Shifting forms between understanding and confusion. Its close, but far. Its now, but not yet.
Something is coming.
But the waiting seems endless. So long, that the patient pain begins to dull. So long, that the minutes flow into hours into years. So long, that she forgets she is uncomfortable. She drifts off to sleep, mid- mumble through her “how long” cry.
Yet her dreams are tortured and restless. She wants to relax into sleepless rest, but the broken hopes will not leave her alone even with her eyes shut. She waits for the nightmare to turn for the better. She anticipates a bright morning to overtake this present darkness. But she cannot rouse herself from this suffocating grave.
Yet something is still coming.
Jolting awake as something crashes over her slumbering head. Inhaling a deep breath as an outsider’s Word invades her heart. Bright piercing light, frigid invigorating water has been shouted again into her ears. She burns again with the agonizing hope that is not seen. Her eyes are open. Waiting. Watching.
Overtaken by a voice she didn’t want to hear. Assaulted by a vision of the truth. Longing for her long-lost ignorant sleep, wishing to return to her irrational excuses. The light is not easier. Hearing truth is not more comfortable. The thing that has been coming is unexpected, bold, and unapologetic.
Something has come. And this is Advent.
To keep her eyes open is no small thing. The buzz of the world tries to gently soothe her back to sleep. It is simpler to just be content with the wearisome present. It is easier to avoid the nauseous expectancy of a descending Holy God. It is more socially acceptable to forget the story of sacrifices and sin and a savior. It is a battle to just stay awake through the monotonous years of watching.
Here, He fights for her love and trust. Words of correction, forgiveness and mercy. Stories of faithful witnesses who hope in the same answer. A bow in the clouds, a ram in the bushes. Prophecy of a promised child that would come to restore our groaning creation. A king dwelling in the midst of his people in a kingdom that never ends. A watery grave, a resurrected life. A wedding feast for all eternity. The Lamb of God with whom God is well pleased. The tree of eternal life, given and shed for the forgiveness of your sin.
Something is yet to come.
She doesn’t even comprehend how God has bent all of creation to this moment. From His words at the beginning to the voice that speaks to her even now, He has crafted His Advent in her very own timeline. Touching her ears with forgiveness, pressing his name into her forehead and heart, relentlessly pursuing her with His gifts wherever she secretly wanders. He comes where she is hiding. He comes when she least deserves it. He comes even now to save her from her failure to wait.
But there is a greater Advent on her horizon. He comes now to reveal the Advent she will most certainly forget. He comes now in humiliating simple gifts that can only whisper the Advent that no one will be able to ignore. He comes now veiled in word, water, bread and wine offering her a taste of the everlasting eternal Advent.
But simply enough, He wants her to remember. Something is coming.