Advent 22: Psalm 80 & Luke 1:26-38

From Genevieve Roge

The psalmist in Psalm 80 makes a plea three times: "Lord to Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. (Ps 80:3, 80:7, 80:19)

This advent I have been struck with the seasons in which the Lord allows us to wait and then subsequently longs for us to ask for Him to heal, restore and come. In so many ways this advent, I similar to the psalmist as I also find myself waiting on the Lord for many things-  for the Lord to make himself known to my family members who have yet to know him, for the Lord to help me in my tendency towards anxiety with large projects at work, my selfish decisions or short-tempertness during stressful weeks, for the Lord to restore peace to communities and neighborhoods that have been ravaged by violence or disease, for the Lord to put people without community into communities and people without families into family. In the psalmist's waiting was accompanied by repentance, giving the Lord glory for what He has done in the past, praising the Lord's name and ernestly asking for him to come and save.

I wrote this poem sitting on top of a mountain in New Hampshire a few seasons back during a similar season of waiting and asking for the Lord's restoration. I find myself thinking of the same rhythm of waiting, praising the Lord's creation and petition the Lord through prayer today:

 

A swirling steady change of wind flows through this place.

Discretely carving away the white on the lake below

and between our wool capped heads. 

Tempting us to move slower to its pure, wild movements

 

Really a gust, this gracious breeze makes its' course

through tree bows and rock tops past the hands and feet

and boot tracks and paw tracks of countless others.

But it is here, at this scraggly pine green bluff, 

that Goodness makes His way known to us.

 

Filling the white birch bark and soft moss with its movement, 

just enough, but not too much as to drown out the spaces of quiet. 

No, that is left intact just enough for us to breathe, 

feel sun on our brows, watch pages turn- a sweet sabbath.

 

I am a Californian by way of Washington, DC most recently before moving to Boston with my husband, Dan. I spend my days working with the Global Learning & Training team with an international public health organization called Partners in Health. Most of my work focused on working with clinicians and Community Health Workers in Liberia build and strengthen their training programs. In the evenings and weekends you can find me hiking, biking, gardening or jogging with my husband or piling friends into our small living room in South Boston (please come join us!).