It is almost Advent. The night is far gone; the day is near. There are lights on the far side of the old reservoir; but in between, where the garden is, and the almost leafless trees, is perfect black, deep and velvety, its sleeping birds hidden entirely from view. It is hard to believe there ever was anything but this deep night.
It is Black Friday. It should be a day of penitence, it feels, of cleansing - of laying down the empty, heavy things that freight our longings. The trackless wind of the Spirit blows where it chooses, and we hear the sound of it, but we do not know where it comes from or where it goes. In the unseen places within us, already, we feel it lift the hair of our hearts.
Come, Lord. The hollow earth waits, the night is open. Make straight the ways of your love in all that we are. Emmanuel, wake us from our sleep, our uneasy dreaming, with your angel words, as you woke poor Joseph to a strange new hidden life with you.
Come, Lord, come - this of all Advents, come.