Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Pause in Advent: 2


 I'm joining Angela and a gaggle of other fine folks for a Pause in Advent.

I'm having trouble coming up with something to write about this week. There are all sorts of things that I could write that would sound good--inspirational sorts of things, spiritual tidbits. But for some reason I don't have it in me.

Do you ever get tired of words? I don't often get tired of reading words, but I get tired of hearing them. Right now I'm very tired of opinions. I'm tired of people telling me how I should feel in in the face of Ferguson and the Eric Garner non-indictment. You know how I feel? Sad. I feel really, really sad. And tired.

We talk, talk, talk. We talk past each other and over each other. I'm tired of talk. Talk doesn't change anything unless the talk is between two or three people who are willing to be generous listeners.

I heard a story on NPR tonight about a group of people, black and white, who have been gathering regularly in Ferguson, MO, ever since August to talk about what they can do to make things better. I like their kind of talk. They seem like they're trying to be truthful and open-minded. They seem like they've learned to trust each other enough to tell the truth about their experiences.

That's the kind of talk we need. We need talk that builds relationships. We need talk that builds trust. If there is no trust, there is no love, and if there is no love, there is no change.

What does this have to do with Advent? I'm not sure. Except that maybe one thing we need to keep talking about is the fact that God is with us, and if God is with us, all things are possible. Even peace. Even love.

Those people who meet in Ferguson to talk about how to make things better? They close their meetings with a prayer. I believe God is with them, and that change will begin with them.

Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.


Pom Pom said...

Yes, Frances you are right about those praying ones who believe in peace.

So many words and so much careless communicating. Henri Nouwen said there are too many words.
I like to talk to one person at a time these days.

Susan Zimmerman said...

I've been thinking a lot about this verse from John this particular Advent.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

That's Advent for me this year. Believing in the light that doesn't allow darkness to overcome it.

And I don't have any more words. Like you, I'm tired of all the other words. And I'm deeply, deeply sad.

Tracy said...

Yes, I get tired of words too. Tired of being talked at. Tired of the constant noise. Tired of nothing changing for all the talk.

I think you would like the book "Speak: How your story can change the world" by Nish Neiseth. Brilliant book about learning to listen before entering the conversation. To be slow to speak, and to not jump in and over others. To value stories.

I like Romans 12:18, where it tells us that if it is up to us to determine, we should live at peace with everyone. I have really enjoyed all the different versions I've read of that verse too. The NIV is the one I remember best. But the NLT and MSG versions are really good too.

magsmcc said...

Amen x

Nancy McCarroll said...

Perhaps you are a peacemaker with your writing, France's. And blessed are you. You bring peace and smiles to me.

Blessings on you and yours this advent season.

Kezzie said...

Oh how true. And yes, words are just meaningless at times. It clutters the silence when the still, small voice of God speaks to us. It misses us. x

RedSetter said...

A lovely thought provoking Pause. Sometimes we need to listen to hear God's word in order to let it come through us.