I don’t normally post poetry (or creative writing of any sort, really) online, but I’ve decided to make an exception. You see, I love Christmas, but I love more than just the day; I love the Christmas season. I love how everything just seems lighter in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. People become kinder. It’s not considered weird to knock on a stranger’s door and sing a song to them. How whimsical! The family. The hot chocolate. The lights. Christmastime screams hope to an otherwise hopeless world. And for years and years, the Church had a name for this time: Advent. It’s from the latin, “Adventus” which means “To arrive.” Don’t you love that? During the Advent we look back to the first arrival of our Savior, and we look forward to His next arrival. And so we too arrive, in a sense. During Christmastime, we arrive once again to that state of being that we truly believe in. It’s as if we are pulled by all of life’s mixed directions all year but when the year ripens to the sweet time of Christmas, we turn away from all the other things we’ve pursued and arrive at the place where we really want to be: The place of love for Christ and community with family. This year in lieu of the traditional Advent Candles, I’ve decided to write a new poem for each of the four Sundays of Advent. The first of which is about hope. In Latin, the word for hope is “spero,” a word that bears a striking phonetic similarity to one of my favorite animals. I hope these poems stir you to a deeper place of reflection this season as we wait for that special day when we honor our magnificent God who was scandalous enough to perform the greatest act of humility in the incarnation…
Hope is Like a Sparrow
Hope is like a sparrow.
It is a hopping fleeting little thing
bouncing along between
the earth beneath our feet
and the wispy blue retreat.
It can be crushed only when caught.
So for now, we wait. We count
the hairs on each sparrow’s
tiny head turning and chirping.
We hope with Hope
that we too will be counted
as we have longed to be counted.
Like a boy lying in his Father’s lap
where all’s well with stony fingers
passing sifting through the silken hair
of youth reminding us that Father
still reigns above, counting
always counting like a clock.
That clock turns away another year
while we hope like sparrows
planted on the brown earth
with our eyes tied to the red heavens.
Christ will come again. And He will
count us, according to our little birds.