An Advent Paradox: Hints Followed By Guesses

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But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint—
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime’s death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.
For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.
Here the impossible union
Of spheres of existence is actual,
Here the past and future
Are conquered, and reconciled…
~T.S. Eliot from “Dry Salvages” 

 

 

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We want to understand.
We want to know, not just guess anymore.

We want God to fit into the holes of our comprehension exactly like a puzzle piece falls into place in the space meant just for it.

But He doesn’t.  He won’t.  Our holes are rarely God-shaped.  They are ragged and changing moment by moment –  the hints are laid out and we make our haphazard
half-guesses.

The holes of our understanding gape so large that only God knows it takes the glue of faith to bridge the gap.  Our doubts are conquered, our conflicts reconciled, the impossible union of heaven and earth made possible through the Incarnation.

Perhaps that is what “holy” is all about – filling up all our hole-li-ness with His Holiness come to earth from heaven.

 

 

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One thought on “An Advent Paradox: Hints Followed By Guesses

  1. Your expertly-chosen photos, once again, tell it all, Emily. I have never seen THE EVENT shown in such a glorious imaginative but understandable way:
    The third photo is mesmerizing, heart-stopping — our Creator God, in His awesome mysterious nature, coming to earth – breaking into our history.
    The second photo is barely discernible. His Presence now is muted, no longer dramatic. Instead, it portrays the quiet, gentle charismatic way that Scripture tells us how He attracted the poor, the suffering, the lost and hopeless — waiting for their ‘Messiah,’ their ‘deliverer,’ believing that He would come. My faith tells me that He has not changed His approach since that sacred event over two millennia ago when the souls of His followers first recognized Him. He still waits for us — to come to Him!, to recognize Him, to trust His love for us….!

    Liked by 1 person

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