O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!
This is the season we are arrested by our longing.
This is the season of the undressing of our hunger,
and a time to adopt our orphaned hopes.
Our spirits ache with the family not gathered for holidays,
unfinished business of the heart,
the pall of Things Gone Wrong.
As the plague spreads out from the cities to the countryside,
mostly, cruelly, through happy means of games and weddings,
and the peasants grow hungrier,
and the Emperor has stomped off to his room,
our unease deepens.
How do we name our heartbreak, our lack?
This is the affliction that silts our veins:
that we do not know what we want, but we want it badly.
Sandbags of darkness rise about us
and with the night, our wanting.
The door to the locked attic room in our hearts
that we have ignored for too long swings open,
and its great emptiness reaches for us.
This is the season we marry our longing.
Nothing will do now, but divine intervention,
yet not in the heavens, but somehow—
in a mystery the prophets have hinted at—
The empty place is the place of God.
Oh, humanity, set the table,
and keep the fire going.
But before you set out either to hope or to rectify,
your faithfulness now is to attend to the great, holy fullness
of the emptiness in your heart,
and be still.
November 27, 2020