I was saying to friends yesterday “This is the day I have been waiting for, for 27 years!” Yesterday was moving day for my son. He is getting married at the end of the month and is moving into the apartment. It is not that I am overjoyed that he is moving, though I have plans for the space. My joy is in seeing David launching out on his own unique journey. He is the very definition of a gentleman. He loves his work and is good at it. He has in the last year or so found a level of physical health that he hasn’t experienced in a long time. Pride isn’t always a sin and I am very proud of David. As a parent my goal was always that he grow up to be an independent person of God and yesterday was another landmark. I can say, to quote George Bush, “Mission accomplished!” It is a good feeling.
I have also been experiencing a sense of melancholy because I have never and will never experience these same emotions with our son Jamie. Jamie died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome 29 years ago. I miss him still. It seems that many glad occasions are tinged with a sense of loss. I expect to carry this hurting heart until Jesus comes or I go to Him.
This is the meaning of Advent to me. Advent is the season for people like me, and like you I expect, who have hurting hearts. They ache but they can ache with a real sense of hope, because the Kingdom of God will one day be experienced, by us, in its fullness. Advent calls the hurting heart to look up. We long for that time when the burdens we find so heavy will roll away like Pilgrim’s. Advent is the season when our hurting hearts turn toward Home.
Now we see as through a glass darkly but then…. Ah the joy.
We can so easily miss the hope filled anticipation of this season as we hurry toward Christmas but we do so at our own loss.
As a parent I will experience thousands more joy filled moments but my hurting heart longs for the “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” which accompanies His advent.