Retreat in Advent

Bare branches against a sky the color of water.
Spreading yews beside the house covered with snow.
Latin chant filters through the house in waves of quiet.
We sit, silent, looking out the chapel window
For the sunrise.
Streaks of dull cloud smear the horizon.
The first faint pink fades back to gray,
But still we wait for streams of glory.
A large crow lights on a branch in a flutter,
Then sits silent, looking eastward.
I think of how we long for Jesus,
Passionate for a glorious awakening,
Streams of molten fire to consume our hearts in love,
And how he more often creeps into our lives like this gray dawn,
Brightening imperceptibly into the light of day.
I accept the day’s grace, without glory.
Then, suddenly, the gray separates,
Intensifies to blue and pink and then richer, glowing pink.
Suddenly, out of all expectation,
The day arrives and he is here!



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