32nd Sunday Ordinary Time – Advent for Life – Waiting…
Who likes to wait? I don’t. With a good book, I “can’t wait” for the denouement. A good movie? Same thing, even though I usually don’t want it to end. (The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a great example.) I want to know the outcome. I don’t like uncertainty.
The passage about the wise & foolish bridesmaids waiting for the coming of the bridegroom situates us in that in-between-space. Between the promise and the fulfillment. That’s where we wait. We’re in transition, on the threshold, in the waiting room…
Hearkening back to yesterday’s post about worlds ending, one question that appears often is, “What next?” I grieve. I grieve some more. Now what? When will this end? I want it to be like it was. Who am I now?
When I did chaplain’s training about forty years ago, I remember still a doctor saying, “Give grief two years. After about two years, one ought to seek medical help if not before (in the chance that depression is more clinical than related to events).” For the most part, that has proved true for me after major loss.
Two years is a really long time to wait for something or someone to change me.
So, what will Packer fans do? What will Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, my buddy, Pat, do in this middle time? Well, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and perhaps acceptance of their new state.
This is the middle-ground of re-making. The crucible of new creation. Or, it can be eventually. Doesn’t have to be.
We can continue to follow the path of idolatry – “Me first!” We can continue to try to re-make our selves, rebuild our self-esteem, look for the kind of healing that gives us the illusion of the same power and status. We can reconstruct our certainty and self-sufficiency.
Or, we can learn to encounter Christ in our insufficiency, vulnerability, and new found poverty. This is the very place that Francis of Assisi learned to abide because he knew who he was – the child of God in the hands of God.
What a deal is that, though. Waiting sucks. Let’s just build other gods to get us through.