Merry Christmas! Advent is complete and so is this Advent writing journey. Psalm 85 has been providing some grazing space for me for a couple of months now – especially the section which begins: Show us your steadfast love O Lord… (vs.7).
When I begin with the Lord’s steadfast love, my response, my faithfulness seems to make so much more sense. So while the Psalm may read as elaborating the characteristics of God – steadfast love, faithfulness, peace, righteousness, it also awakens my heart to a creative collaboration: Steadfast love (God’s) and faithfulness (mine), meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other... The incarnation, Jesus born here on earth, growing up and building relationships with family and others, is the ultimate God and human collaboration and an open invitation to all of us.
I’ve taken some time this Advent to speak more directly from my story, because this is where my faithfulness is lived out. This is where I explore the facets of God’s steadfast love; this is where the troubling questions are voiced and where the waiting takes place. The poem below tries to get at that – at what faithfulness looks like today. May you each know the expanding joy in your own collaborative spaces.
With gratitude for your company through Advent,
By Your Side
Life with you skips like stones
across glassy water – barely scratching
the surface, a string of kisses arching
away from us only to disappear…
Love searches for palm sized questions –
smooth, flat, to fling fast and low
over the mystery, one question per rock,
but a beach strewn with possibilities.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet, kiss.
Hope springs up from the ground, rained on
by a holy peace – the Lord will give
what is good and make a path for our steps.
Even misshapen stones splash, sink deep,
urge, try again and are as good as answers
extending an hour spent just being with you
speechlessly searching by your side.
© 2016 – Laurel Archer
Photo Credit – Laurel Archer
Poetry form – Free Verse
Special thanks to my writing partners this year: Denice Bezoplenko, Violet Nesdoly, Laurel Pritchard. Writing with others brings me lasting joy. It is such a lovely way to open up to another way of seeing — a mirroring of the great collaboration mentioned above. May each of you know the peace of Christ throughout the coming year.