It's quiet here this morning. Adrian worked late last night. Noelle and Reagan shopped early Black Friday with a cousin and an aunt. They will all sleep in. Mike flew south at 5am for family friends and a funeral. So I sit alone in the quiet and resist the urge to turn on music.
The tree lights are lit. Part of me wants to sit, only sit, long and quiet. The other part wants music, chores, and the race and pace I know so well. To rest I must resist.
So I take myself to the tree and sit across from a new living guest in my house. After ten years of artificial, this tree smells of earth, pours sticky sap, and drinks in water. It stands quiet in the corner and breathes.
The nativity scene is on the coffee table awaiting the Christ child that will be born unto us Christmas morning, delivered to his manger, his mother's arms, and his mission. The familiar participants look on with expressions that were meant to be responses by the artist, but with this empty bed of hay, their expressions oddly become those of anticipation.
This is how it was for four hundred years.
Life was freeze-framed with something crucial missing. A silent God quietly awaiting a cataclysmic event of his own making at the precise moment of his choosing. God waited, said nothing, did nothing. For four hundred years.
While generations are born and are buried. While nations rise and fall. While the earth spins its continued orbit. Four hundred springtimes and harvests, 146,000 dawns and as many dusks while God's prelude played silently.
Today, as the Christmas season begins, I decide it will be for me what God prescribed: a time of quiet waiting. Of course there will be things to do and preparations to make. I'm yet to buy a single Christmas gift. The challenge will be in what to let go and what to keep in order to maintain the quiet and expectation. It will mean resisting and saying no to some things.
I tend to want it all, especially during the Christmas season, but having it all is losing something crucial. This year I'm choosing quiet expectation.