I consider myself a spiritual person –
to the point of chills when I stumble upon a stained glass portrait of a Mother wearing
holy colors, fearing for the lives of her family.
My upbringing was very traditional, yet in my most recent years, untraditional.
While a shaky faith is a thing we all come to terms with in different seasons, I find myself on days like today, with a good song in hand, reaching deep to reconcile my weighty ghosts.
This week has flown by. (As they say.)
Tuesday I found myself hunched by a toilet emptying my sick belly, and luckily found some chicken stock in my freezer to sip down before I went to bed that night. I’ve cooked for a few hundred in the span of this week and my body is a bit worn down. I’m tired. Bone tired.
Last night, as I do when I need comfort, ate fried catfish and watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I propped up my swollen foot and indulged in maybe another Christmas tree cake, because I can afford it after losing a few pounds from that rogue stomach flu.
There is a scene at the end where a father is crying over the loss of his son, and a very violent loss at that. Being tired, I assume, makes me more emotional. It’s usually a hard scene, but I lost it again. It wasn’t quite just about the movie, but more so a culmination of some dark, dark times we have all recently been aware of in our world.
People all over are experiencing trauma through these things. I don’t think we realize it. We see a video of a man getting killed and it haunts us and then we move on nibbling on our ham sandwiches. But it sticks with us. At least it does me.
I think in that moment when I heard the father moan in sadness and pain, I was reminded of the mothers and fathers who have to bury their sons and daughters. I think about the dark injustice that plagues our world and our apathy because we are afraid to dialogue. Afraid to disagree with our families and friends.
I heard someone say that advent is a very dark time where hope emerges.
I love that.
My religious beliefs aren’t anything to write home about anymore. I do have what I have. I believe in my bones what feels right and I have the stories and memories of growing up in a world that I still cling to from time to time.
I am not here writing to defend myself or my beliefs. To be honest, I don’t care too much about my beliefs. Those who know me, and love me, understand that I love a person for their heart, not for what they believe. I have seen too much damage over beliefs, as I find they change like the tide.
But love, I can work with. Love gives me something to hang on to.
So I take this time that many churches and communities call Advent and I mourn. I am weighed down with the loss of both innocent and guilty lives. I think about the racial and political and religious climates that have driven millions and millions of people into different places of the world. Like the two who fled to have a baby in a trough, fearing they would be murdered. And as it goes, that same woman, holding the ripped flesh of her own son.
I sit here today, with a deep hope in my belly. Deeper than the dark stuff that finds its way down there.
None of this stuff is easy, but it’s important.
Here’s to this season of darkness, but also great light.
Wishing all who read this wonderful times with their loved ones, or who are away from home or who don’t celebrate or who eat Chinese food out on Christmas day (which sounds pretty awesome actually.)
Sending you love and light and the space to dwell in them both.