Tag Archives: Book of Romans

The Spirituality of Waiting

Waiting II

“Waiting II” DS Mixed Media on Paper

White gallon pails of plaster paint lined the walls and filled spaces under rough wooden tables in the sturdy outbuilding near the un-ploughed fields of green acreage. The fresco paint had been waiting almost a decade then for someone with strength who knew how to mix paint in the ancient way. Father Dunstan showed our visiting art class the extensive Cubist drawings he had created over a lifetime. I could not grasp their full extent even from the white vellum drawings scrolled out on the old table.

In many ways it was an idyllic day:

– White clouds in a blue sky

– A walk along a narrow path ending on a precipice overlooking a vast flat valley

– Lavish stained glass cut outs in a grey concrete building

– A tower building where Jesuit priests pulled bells ringing the hours of the day

– Simple delicious meals presided over by a conversational priest

Father Dunstan Massey waited years for others to make the decision to hire a craftsman, and for the person with the skills to help, to be identified, and to be available.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Monk+devotes+life+adorning+Mission+Westminster+Abbey/8303040/story.html

At Regent College Bookstore one day I saw his book now written, the project now completed. I took in the photos of Father Dunstan on scaffolding as a really old man supervising the fulfillment of his dream. Later I returned to Westminster Abbey, Mission, B.C. for a retreat weekend. I saw the completed work in person– a privilege unusual and unforeseen. Time for God is so unlike our idea of timing. So many things are brought together that we are unaware of.

I wait today for others to decide for my work after graduation. I do interviews, present materials and ideas for projects and time periods that fit for me. I make tentative study and materials preparations. I rearrange storage space. Two venues have decided ‘not yet.’ Two more have passed the time when their decision would be made. Three alternatives have been approached and are now silent. Waiting is hard – especially in planning our schedules and keeping a good attitude.

There are so many ways of waiting – a birth, a death, a wedding, for something to be over, for something to start, even to endure something. We wait for winter to pass. The seeds now planted, I watch every leaf form wishing for flowers to appear right away. I want my garden to flourish. But I know, I must water, weed and feed. It is God who makes things grow when it is time.

After asking God to guide and open doors, I now want the guidance to be on my schedule and the doors I knock on to be the ones that open. Yet, our mysterious God works wonders that make no sense to us. Why old age for Father Dunstan? Indeed why me? We wait together with God. As the plan grows to fruition, we mature. We develop true intimacy with our Maker.

Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying.  

Book of Romans

 

 

 

 

 

Painters and Poets

Snowflake Collage

“Snowflake Collage” DS

Christmas 2015

In my online reading, quite unexpectedly, I happened upon a contemporary thought-provoking painting of Christ’s birth: “The Nativity” by Brian Kershisnik. It became obvious from looking that so much of what is happening when we think again of the story is unseen. Another great artist said:

“My aim is always to get hold of the magic of reality and to transfer this reality into painting — to make the invisible visible through reality. It may sound paradoxical, but it is, in fact, reality which forms the mystery of our existence.” Max Beckmann

We rely on the eyes of faith or what has been called the prompting of the Spirit – a feeling perhaps or a knowing that something is true without all the facts. I think again of how my Christmas celebration seems so far from what I would like it to be each year. My habit of direct prayer, however, is always answered. I address the risen Christ, the One who was born, lived, died, rose and now lives again interceding for us at the right hand of the Father (Book of Romans).

As I go about my preparations for the holidays, I pray to this alive Jesus for something wonderful to happen again this year. I pray that He would give me the best gift on His birthday – a paradox this – as the birthday person usually receives all of the gifts. But turning expectations upside down is nothing new for Jesus. I do rejoice in this. It gives me hope for change for those who struggle – and miracles can happen – especially at Christmas. The Creator of the universe came to be with us – Emmanuel. The gladness is real and spreading. It does not depend on me or my attitude.

“Nativity” painting by Brian Kershisnik

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rKpxYjnPAM

 

This Year will be Different

by Ann Weems (1934-    )

Who among us does not have dream

that this year will be different?

Who among us does not intend to go

peacefully, leisurely, carefully to word Bethlehem,

for who among us likes to cope with the

commercialism of Christmas

which lures us to tinsel not only the tree

but also our hearts?

Who among us intends to get caught up in a tearing around

And wearing down?

Who among us does not long for:

gifts that give love?

shopping in serenity?

cards and presents sent off early?

long evenings by the fireside with those we love?

(the trimming devoid of any arguing about who’s going to hang

what where,

the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg mingling with the pine

scent of the tree,

and carols gently playing over our idyllic scene)

and the children! The children cheerfully talking about

giving instead of getting?

Who among us does not yearn for

Time for our hearts to ponder the Word of God?

Moments of kneeling and bursts of song?

The peace of quiet calm for our spirit’s journey?

 

This year we intend to follow the Star

instead of the crowd.

But, of course, we always do

intend the best.

(And sometimes best intentions tend to get the best of us!)

This year, when we find ourselves off the path again

(and we invariably will!),

let’s not add yet another stress to our Advent days,

that of “trying to do Christmas correctly”!

Instead let’s approach the birth of our Lord

with joyful abandon!

 

And this year

let’s do what Mary did and rejoice in God,

let’s do what Joseph did and listen to our dreams,

let’s do what the Wise Men did and praise and glorify God

for all we’ve seen and heard!

As for the Advent frantic pace, we don’t have time for that.

We’ll be too busy singing!

This year will be different!