Backlit with Joy has been silent for the last few weeks—sorry!  Personal and family challenges usurped precious writing time; unexpected health needs required full attention for a while.  It’s good to be back, and what better time than Advent, season of listening, expectation and hope.

As I begin my Advent pondering, I’m aware of many health professionals I’ve met in the past few weeks. Hospitals are a bit chaotic, and doctors’ offices can seem like caves where one waits stoically with other nameless individuals in various stages of crisis.  The health system in this country is not at all easy to navigate.  But I’ve been deeply moved by individual doctors, nurses or receptionists who take time to listen and don’t succumb to the assembly line push.  How reassuring it’s been to hear someone say, “Call me. If you have a question or concern, call me.”

There’s a spark of God in those who give personal attention to others, a God who is never rushed, always present.  Isn’t it good to know that in this age of impersonal, detached communication, our God says, “Call to me, I will answer you. . . . When I hear your voice, I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 3).  I’m grateful for those who image that action in their own lives, giving compassionate attention to others in the midst of busy schedules.  This Advent, I want to practice being more like them.