An Advent Journey, 2013: Looking for the Light – Day Four


Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
burst into song and shout,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate woman will be more
than the children of her that is married, says the Lord.
Enlarge the site of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
and your descendants will possess the nations
and will settle the desolate towns.

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
This is like the days of Noah to me:

Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:1-10 -NRSV

The writing in the book of Isaiah reduces me to tears on a regular basis. The cadence and rhythm of the words, the glory of the truths proclaimed, the beauty of the God who loves despite frustration, despite disappointment. The forward thrust of it all is what I cling to, I think. The acknowledgement that things are difficult at times, that shame is alive and well on planet earth, but . . .

The love of God will prevail, the peace of God will sustain, the compassion of God will triumph. These are words to cling to when disasters circle our globe, when despots rule, when unspeakable things happen. These are the words of hope.

Where are you finding hope right now? Where do you see glimmers of light?

I see it in the faces of my family, in the honest searching of my eldest grandsons, the gleeful gaming of the middle boys, the playful willfulness of my youngest granddaughters. I see it in the tired eyes of my son who works far too hard as a hospice doctor, in the creative hospitality of my daughters and daughter-in-law, in the gentle goodness of my sons-in-law, in the faithful commitment of my husband

I see it in the blueness of the sky, I hear it in the birds calling across the yard, in the waves crashing and receding, in the green, green, greenness of every tree and bush.

And I find it in your faces, in your words, in your stories.

I am grateful.

Oh Lord of hope, help us to gather up these glimmers and see your hand at work. Make us ministers of compassion to the hopeless among us, bringers of joy to those who are shamed, and believers in your goodness, no matter what.

* As an added Advent bonus, I heartily recommend you click on this link and meander over to SheLoves fine post on Random Acts of Advent Kindness. I’m going to try and do this as often as possible and I encourage you all to check it out for yourselves.

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  1. Looking for the light/rainbow/grace in each day. Yesterday it was my dad’s hearing aid got stepped on and broken in 4 pieces and my husband was able to Krazy glue it back together. the insides still worked. otherwise it would have been $1000 to get another one.

    have really been appreciating your gift of advent writing to us each day here in December as I spend our days in mostly a waiting mode, not sure of what will come next or when. do you think younger people realize that we in our older years wonder what our purpose is, lose our dreams and wonder, wonder, wonder? I used to think they had it all together!

    • Grateful with you that you could fix that hearing aid! Today my mom lost her ‘teeth’ – a bridge in the back and a ‘flipper’ in the front! Fortunately we found them. I can’t even imagine how much those would cost to replace. Thanks for your encouragement, Carol. I really appreciate it.

  2. Diana, what a comforting scripture. So many of us feel barren (at least at times). We need the encouragement, constantly, that our Lovely God will never give up loving us. That he has good things in mind for us. The world seems such a heartless, heedless place. So glad that God is both heartful and heedful of his children.

  3. What would we do without comfort? Always thankful to find it in your writing Diana, and those who follow you.