As the Northern Hemisphere pitches towards the dark time, we hang lights on trees inside and outside our houses. I think about how Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”
William Paul Young, author of The Shack, said that “according to John’s gospel, Jesus said this during the great day of the Feast of Booths, when young men climbed onto lampstands seventy-five feet high. They poured oil and set them on fire.” Jesus, the light of the world, said this under gigantic torches roaring, that lit up Jerusalem.
But what startles me the most is how this light of the world, swept down from holding creation together, into a woman’s womb, curled up, dependent on a mere girl to change his diapers, nurse him, soothe him when he cried. We despised and rejected the man who said, “If you want to see God, look at me.” This man of sorrows, this God, did everything human. He died. He rose. And now he sits in heaven as a resurrected human, the firstborn of all creation. He will come again.
I’m Katie Andraski and this is my reflection on Advent.
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When I was in graduate school and looking for a place to live, I looked at an apartment, whose Venetian blinds let in slanted light. That light made me feel weighted, heavy, depressed. It was a kind of light I could not bear. I did not rent the apartment.
At any rate, I started seeing the power of light in this farm house probably because it has clear sight line to the horizons and sunlight easily finds its way through our windows onto our walls. I’ve known the power of light to lift my heart, when I sat in front of a Lightbox one winter and wrote on my novel. And that light finding its way into our home pushed back against the stiffness we felt from the house, as though she wasn’t happy we’d made so many changes.
We said goodbye to Bitsy today. We adopted because my friend had no place for her after her parents died. She was her father’s cat, a feral that he tamed. She said that no one would want a hissing, growling cat like Bitsy and her husband was allergic to cats.
Bruce and I adopted her because my friend had listened to my stories. Bitsy slowly softened, leaving her safe space, my office, to explore the whole house. She learned that the dogs would not hurt her. In fact she often sniffed noses with Night.
Bruce was her favorite. Most every evening he went upstairs to sit in the chair and watch TV with her. She climbed into his lap and purred. The other night, I came to bed late and she was nestled close to Bruce, purring. We were surprised she stayed put when I climbed in bed, and stayed put well into the night. A gift from a grumpy cat.
This last month she developed sores in her mouth. A dental cleaning and teeth pulled, along with painkillers, antibiotics, prednisone, did not help. So we let her go. Dr. Guedet at Perryville Pet Hospital was beyond kind to her and to us.
Our hearts are broken, especially Bruce’s.
Before we buried her, we read this from Every Moment Holy. “Oh Lord how long till all is made right? how long til your wild grace restores all loss and upends every leaving? How long till these hurts are healed and these griefs eternally sealed and set aside by the finally completed work of your redeeming love?
“We know if no sparrow falls beyond the ken of your compassion, that you also, in this moment, inhabit our sadness at this wounding, your weeping at the world’s brokenness somehow deeper than our own.”