December 21, 2015

The Advent-ure of Love …. by Jocelyn Faire



If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.  (Anonymous, but quoted by Sarah Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance)
What does it feel like to be loved?
The question is asked of my daughter who lives with her husband and three small children in a N African Islamic country. The lady who poses the question is heavy with her third child. Last December I joined my daughter to invite neighbours to attend a Ladies event to experience the flavour of a Canadian Christmas. In that country they do not celebrate December 25th, they do not get caught up in ribbons and bows, in getting the right turkey, the right gifts … they do that for other cultural events. As we spread the word about the party, one of the ladies said “everyone wants to be at her house.” It is a house of welcome, a safe house of light and love. This year, I could not be there and encouraged my daughter in whatever way I
could, mainly prayer from wintery Canada. She is eight hours ahead, so it was early Friday afternoon that the first details came through: “a house full of women, rich conversation, laughter, fun, food.” Via WhatsApp she said “And one pregnant woman who did not have the two dinars (about a dollar) for a taxi ride, walked seven kilometres to come.”  I was moved to tears as I read. That woman walked seven kms because she felt loved and accepted by my daughter. My daughter does not preach, she invests herself into their lives … she cares, she also gives this woman a ride home.

What does it feel like to be loved? Three weeks ago, I heard a fable by Max Lucado. This is now my retelling of his telling … As the prince rode throughout the land, he took note of a peasant woman, he fell in love with her … he proposed marriage. She wanted to refuse … how could he love her, he lived in a castle, she was just a common woman. He insisted that He loved her for who she was, and he wanted to marry her. She still responded in doubt, but as he seemed quite persistent, she said,  she could cook and clean for him, and bear his children … He said, “I do not want you because you can cook and clean, and bear children. I want you to be my wife because I love you” …. They married; she cooked and cleaned and bore his children, but somehow she never trusted his love. In the end she left him, and said to one of her friends, “I never really felt that he loved me.”  

Something stirred my heart at this story, as I have often wondered
if God, who says He is
love, could love me? What does it feel like to be loved by the creator of the universe? I have learned that grief does not feel like love …. but the question hangs in the air. Do actions speak louder than words? I do believe that Christmas is Love in Action.
How will I spend the final advent hours? May I take time to feel the desert wind, to gaze at a star and to ponder the birth of new understanding. The final word is Immanuel, God with us, through each season of life, through the longing and the filling, in the journey through the desert. 


Why settle for tinsel, when we are offered the kingdom? 

Read about The Advent-ures of Hope, Joy, Peace on Jocelyn's blog at:

http://whoistalking.wordpress.com
Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking out of My Head-Grief as an out of Body Experience. 
candle image by www.drew-fuller.com

7 comments:

  1. Okay, Jocelyn. Major conviction here. God has been telling to Stop. Rest. Listen. Ponder. And yet I continue to fill each minute in some way. What was it like for shepherds sitting awake, alone, night after night? No TV. No books. No headphones. But that's our natural state of being isn't it? To have empty time, time in which God can speak to us.
    About love?
    Yes, about love!
    Excuse me while I go and clear away some time for Him.
    Blessings!

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  2. That fable by Max Lucado really hit home for me. When we don't receive what another is giving to us, we also are being somewhat selfish, denying the other of giving. And then justify it by making it the other person's fault? Wow..a lot there. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. "Why settle for tinsel when we are offered the kingdom'... pretty profound.

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  4. Jocelyn,
    Thanks for your thoughtful and thought-provoking post. Our family is enjoying a "SIMPLY beautiful" Christmas this year.

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  5. I love the story of your daughter living love in a country far, far away. How beautiful. And if only we totally accepted God's love for us ALL the time, no matter what we did or didn't do, we would be more joyful, more thankful people. Thanks for your thought-provoking post, Jocelyn. And have a love-filled Christmas.

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  6. I am responding after Christmas, Jocelyn, and I felt love from God the Father who sent His Son to be among us, from the Son who showed us love and how to love, and from the Holy Spirit who came to us after the Son went to sit at the Father's right hand. I also felt the love in our family in how we enjoyed each other's presence more than the presents at hand. Love, peace, joy--thank you, Jesus, for these special gifts. Thank you, Jolene, for this loving and lovely blog.

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  7. Jocelyn, how precious to hear about the friendship and joy and hope women are receiving because of your daughter and family! The Lord is shining His light all around the world, yes, even those places that are the main focus of the bad news on TV. God bless you, sister.

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