I am a holy contrarian. I don’t deck the halls, play merry, shine bright or sparkle. I dim the lights and lean into the hush. It is Advent, after all.
I crack open my spirit and let the dissonance cry out, I rend my soul and allow the discord to seep in slowly, engorging every chamber of my seed-sized heart. I drop all pretenses shielding me and look the weary world straight in her tear-stained eyes. The suffering doesn’t stare so much as wince, pains wrecking the bodice of the earth. Creation groans, indeed.
In the muted hues of Advent I sit long enough to adjust to less light, less noise, less distraction. In that stillness I know things.
I know young girls are trafficked to serve depraved appetites.
I know children die in the streets of Gaza, the West Bank, even Jerusalem.
I know brown bodies are more likely to be stopped, arrested, accused and incarcerated.
I know people are fleeing hostile lands and finding too little hospitality among us.
I know the poor struggle to survive the rough and tumble of our economies.
I know we rely on war too much and melt far too few swords, guns, drones.
I know we live riddled with fear of others and blind to opportunities for neighborliness.
I know we are so anxious for our own well-being, we have no energy for others who live under threat.
I know I am complicit.
I know I am a daughter of Jerusalem, the sacked city, lamenting all the brokenness and loss.