Advent Day 06: You Keep Us Waiting, Looking, Loving …

If you trust in Nature, in what is simple in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge. You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Perhaps you do carry within you the possibility of creating and forming, as an especially blessed and pure way of living; train yourself for that but take whatever comes, with great trust, and as long as it comes out of your will, out of some need of your innermost self, then take it upon yourself, and don’t hate anything.
— Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet

Prayer

You keep us waiting.
You, the God of all time,
Want us to wait for the right time in which to discover
Who we are, where we must go,
Who will be with us, and what we must do.
So, thank you … for the waiting time.

You keep us looking.
You, the God of all space,
Want us to look in the right and wrong places for signs of hope,
For people who are hopeless,
For visions of a better world that will appear among the disappointments of the world we know.
So, thank you … for the looking time.

You keep us loving.
You, the God whose name is love,
Want us to be like you –
To love the loveless and the unlovely and the unlovable;
To love without jealousy or design or threat,
And most difficult of all, to love ourselves.
So, thank you … for the loving time.

And in all this you keep us,
Through hard questions with no easy answers;
Through failing where we hoped to succeed and making an impact when we felt useless;
Through the patience and the dreams and the love of others;
And through Jesus Christ and his Spirit, you keep us.

So thank you … for the keeping time,
and for now,
and for ever,
Amen
— John Bell (Iona Community in Scotland) from The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers

See Also

 

Winter
(photo credit)