Advent: Day 1, Leaning into Longing

We married in the dark candlelight of December.  Flurries swirled on Kenyon College’s campus and we hurried into the stone church holding all our hopes for our future. We were crazy young: 18 and 20. We turned toward each other, said “I do” with a black tux and a white puffy sleeved gown and just a vague notion of what “til death do you part” truly meant.


We married with holly in my bouquet, pine boughs across the pews and the words, “The Spirit and the Bride say come” inscribed in calligraphy over our heads.


The verse is full of longing:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.


I’m thirsty. Lonely really.  I set down the book, turn off the tv, drive home from the masses of beautiful family and I…miss…Him. He is present, yes, but I can’t yet run my fingers over his face, gaze into the eyes that created the earth.

In Advent, we lean hard into the longing for Christ’s return.  Like the earth groaning for redemption in Romans 8:19. We too groan: THIS WAS NOT GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN FOR US. We sink deep with cosmic disappointment. We witness the pain of sickness on our child’s face, the empty look of the newly orphaned. We leave our loved ones in the ground, glimpse the evil heralded on every news channel and cry out with the Spirit, COME. It is time for the redemption, the healing, the very earth shot through with joy.

Advent is time to allow ourselves to sit with a deep hunger for His return.

We can hear the longing, the urgency in Handel’s opening Sinfonia:


This Advent I’ll be joining up with my cousin Deb from Deb Howard Photography  (and yes, that’s my brother’s beautiful wedding on her front page) bringing together art and music (from the Messiah) with the very scriptures that Handel picked out to make way for Christ.


Come with us? If you have not yet begun to receive A THIRST FOR GOD in your inbox, this Advent series could be a gift to yourself, to a friend. Enter your email in the CONNECT box over there on the right and together we will journey through the darkness toward the manger.


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  1. so beautiful and oh how I remember that glorious December day when you and Andrew became husband and wife – love u

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