I’ve been working on this painting the last couple of days, from a picture my hubby saw of Big Ben, and a street in London.  Somehow, I found this a challenging exercise, and am not happy with the outcome.

This morning, as I was reflecting, it reminded me of Advent, this season of waiting, often in the dark.

It can be messy, and although we know the Christmas story well, we often live in advent seasons where we don’t know the outcome.

The shadows can feel deep, the light dim, the way unclear.

Right now we are in a season of caring for my dear dad as he walks through the final chapters of his life. Just like birth, death is a process, often long, often filled with pain, discomfort and uncertainty. As we hang on to the outcome of his final release, his reunification with mom, his joy in heaven, we also groan in this final chapter.

We are sad, we grieve. And long to be present, helpful, in this tender, precious time that is bittersweet.

So often my efforts at painting teach me lessons.  I work with imperfections and mistakes.  Things are not always clear. But as the clock shines in this picture, I also know Gods timing is right. Even as there is only light enough for the next step.

And I am mindful of all who are on difficult journeys, through illness, or pain, or grief. It seems particularly difficult in this season of bright lights and joy.

So we hang on to hope that is sure, thankful for Emmanuel, God with us, even when we walk through the shadows.

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