Pins and needles deep inside, slicing and stabbing as each second passes. There is no comfortable way to lay down anymore, every angle tingles with pain. She cringles from muscle cramps, from the frozen positions she calls relaxation. Her mind will not stop. Her eyes will not close. Waiting. Watching.
But for what exactly? Something which will change everything, but she cannot comprehend what it will look like. So, her faceless hope dances in the shadows of imagination. Sometimes tangible, sometimes philosophical. Shifting forms between understanding and confusion. Its close, but far. Its now, but not yet.
Something is coming.
The waiting seems endless. So long, the patient pain begins to dull. So long, as the minutes flow into hours, into years. So long, she forgets she is uncomfortable. She drifts off to sleep, mid-mumble through her, “How long?” cry.
But her dreams are tortured and restless. She wants to relax into a sleepless rest; however, the broken hopes will not leave her alone even with her eyes shut. She waits for the nightmare to turn for the better. She anticipates a bright morning to overtake this present darkness, but she cannot rouse herself from this suffocating grave.
Yet, something is still coming.
Jolting awake as something crashes over her slumbering head. Inhaling a deep breath as an outsider’s Word invades her heart. Bright, piercing light, frigid, invigorating water has been shouted again into her ears. She burns, once more, with an agonizing, unseen hope. Her eyes are open. Waiting. Watching.
Overtaken by a voice she did not want to hear. Assaulted by a vision of the Truth. Longing for her long-lost, ignorant sleep, wishing to return to her irrational excuses. The Light is not easier. Hearing truth is not more comfortable. The thing which has been coming is unexpected, bold, and unapologetic.
Something has come, and this is Advent.
To keep her eyes open is no small thing. The buzz of the world tries to gently soothe her back to sleep. It is simpler to just be content with the wearisome present. It is easier to avoid the nauseous expectancy of a descending, Holy God. It is more socially acceptable to forget the story of sacrifices, sin and a savior. It is a battle to simply stay awake through the monotonous years of watching.
Here, He fights for her love and trust. Words of correction, forgiveness and mercy. Stories of faithful witnesses who hope in the same answer; a bow in the clouds, a ram in the bushes. Prophecy of a promised child who would come to restore our groaning creation. A King, dwelling among His people, in a Kingdom that never ends. A watery grave, a resurrected life, a wedding feast for all eternity. The Lamb of God with whom His Father is well pleased. The Tree of eternal life, given and shed for the forgiveness of your sin.
Something is yet to come.
She does not even comprehend how God has bent all of creation to this moment. From His Word at the beginning, to the voice speaking to her even now, He has crafted His Advent in her very own timeline. Touching her ears with forgiveness, pressing His name into her forehead and heart, relentlessly pursuing her with His gifts wherever she secretly wanders. He comes where she is hiding. He comes when she least deserves it. He comes, even now, to save her from her failure to wait.
But there is a greater Advent on the horizon. He comes now to reveal the Advent she will most certainly forget. He comes now in humiliatingly simple gifts which can only whisper the Advent no one will be able to ignore. He comes now veiled in Word, water, bread and wine, offering her a taste of the everlasting, eternal Advent.
But, simply enough, He wants her to remember. Something is coming.