A couple of days ago, I was thinking deeply about the season of Advent, and how it helps us to prepare for Christmas, in a meaningful and reflective way.
I like exploring the rhythm of the seasons. Reasons to celebrate, festivals, and activities help us connect with those around us. We are still building our own family traditions, to interweave into our lives.
'There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven...'
A couple of days ago, I was also preparing to lose a friend. He was in hospital in the the gravest of circumstances, and his family were left with the agonising decision to turn off life support. The day came to say goodbye, having already discussed funeral arrangements the night before. It was a given. Every opportunity had been explored, no stone was left unturned, his brain damage they said was permanent. This man was loved deeply. By his family, by his work colleages, by his church community.
But no-one was prepared for what transpired next.
As I am writing this, I am trying to give you a picture of deeply hopeless the situation was, and at the same time, there is a bubble rising inside me.
When they arrived at the hospital, (I can't imagine how heavy their footsteps must have felt) his family were given the joyful news that their husband and father was conscious!
Not only awake, but shortly there-after, talking, experiencing memories, and showing signs that baffled hospital staff. Friends that visited him when he was unconsious, and then afterwards, 'are absolutely amazed'.
Despair, to disbelief, to celebration!
Back from the precipice.
Those of us that know the situation intimately are without a shadow of doubt, calling this a miracle. I know there have been a lot of prayers given up to Heaven. I don't know if God changed His mind, or if it just wasn't his time to go, we are just so grateful to have him back. Sometimes, although I wonder why this happens to some of us, and not others, I know God isn't a genie who grants wishes. But I think it's kinda nice that God has used this situation to give hope and courage to those who needed it. Yeah, sure I have heard of miracles, but never before have I personally witnessed one....it makes me wonder what others occur, sight unseen.
Loss at any time is difficult, but especially so at this time of year. Many years ago, I lost my dad 2 weeks before Christmas. My husband lost his mum, just after Christmas. And yet joyfully, children are born and received at this time of year too. One Child especially, touched many.
Faith, Hope and Love.
We all need BIG doses of it.
Our Advent wreath sits on our dining table, and we decorated candles with blue beeswax stars, from tiny weeny-winy cookie cutters. I chose these plain ones, as they were what I had in my cupboard, utilizing what I have, without purchasing perhaps more appropriate ones (no new stuff for me!). As there were only 3 in my stash, the smaller candle is a rolled blue beeswax one, which we'll save for the last week.
I like blue for Advent as it's the colour of expectation. It also represents the night sky, the heavenly realms from which the Christ child came to Earth.
Our simple prayer is said just before grace at hour evening meal;
Second week prayer:
O King of all nations, Jesus Christ,
only joy of every heart,
come and save your people.
If you would like to hear more Advent stories, on faith, traditions, celebrations, etc, then head over to Floss' place, and look on the left hand side for all the bloggers participating, and visit their Advent posts.
or Visit Floss' beautifully written post on ''Love in Advent'.
I am interested in hearing how do you, dear readers celebrate this season?
I would love to know what traditions you enjoy with your family or friends, at this time of year?
What is it that makes you all sit still, and enjoy each others company?
What food do you always make at this time of year?
Seen any miracles lately?