The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22-23 NRSV

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I. Am. Still. Waiting.

I. Am. Still. Waiting. Here again another Advent season begun, its commencement marking not only a prelude to the celebration of Christmas but also to the anniversary of my birth. And I am still waiting.

Here's the thing: When I first thought about the fact that I am still waiting for so many things, not least of which is the coming of Jesus Christ, I thought that I would really be posting an extended lament or at least a complaint, possibly a rant. I thought I would be more in the frame of mind to be saying "I can't believe that another year has come and gone and all these things still haven't happened." But at this moment, that's not how I feel at all. I feel like celebrating.

I AM STILL WAITING. I haven't given up on any of it. I am still hopeful. Still faithful. Still optimistic. Still determined. Still alert. Still watchful. My ears still perk up at the sound of approaching footsteps. My heart still skips a beat when someone or something new surprises and delights me. My eyes still tear up with joy at the very thought when we sing "O I Want to See Him." I still love love songs.

God knows that I have had some moments between November 2009 and November 2010 when I have considered quitting. But thinking about quitting and quitting are not the same thing. Despair ultimately has not won the day. I am still waiting.

And the longer I wait the stiller I am.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For Friends

I tell everybody that I am not a big fan of the holidays and yet I appreciate the opportunity that holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries give me for rethinking and reevaluating where I am, how I am, and who I am. Thanksgiving is a good time to pause and reconnect with all the blessings of my life, to express my gratitude to God and to my people for the immeasurable beauty in my life.

One such moment occurred today, as I sat at lunch with my college roommate and dear friend Debby and her family. My joy in the visit began after her 2 year old informed me that she didn't like me within the first three minutes of our meeting. Well, it wasn't her toddler thumbs down that did it; it was her mother's observation that she only dislikes "young" women, of the age when they might turn out to be babysitters. Nina thought my arrival might just represent temporary maternal abandonment. Delightful.

Later, Deb and her husband and I were reflecting on the fact that we have known one another for more than 20 years. Debby and I explained to everyone that Harvard in its infinite wisdom had merged our two chosen rooming groups together - of course without asking us. I said, "It's one of the best things that has ever happened to me." Misty-eyed, Debby jumped up to hug me - "Me too," she said. We've shared the blessings of friendship for more than half our lives. And I didn't even mention how dearly I love her husband Ian too, or how beautiful their five-year-old son Micah is - even wearing a San Francisco Giants hat. I didn't say that the very first time I had Thanksgiving with a family other than my own, I was in Brooklyn with her family.

I have more friends and better friends than anyone has a right to have. For every one of them I am thankful. You know who you are.