There’s a painting that hangs in my room, a gift from the Ursuline who painted it. It shows people laboring in the sugar cane fields of Barbados. One woman rests on a tree stump, watching and waiting. I often wonder what she’s thinking.
We do so much waiting. We wait for the weekend; we wait for vacation. We wait to be accepted into college, or for the perfect job. Often, it’s an experience of powerlessness and frustration. Held captive by the hands of time and the uncertainty of the future, we feel impatient and anxious when we can’t control what’s coming next.
Advent gives us pause to consider what we are really waiting for—security, trust, strength? Do we long for wholeness and holiness? Perhaps we wait simply to know God’s presence in the ordinary moments of every day. The Bible, in the letter of James, has great advice:
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.