She toddled in with her momma , and I peeked around the corner of the shelf to say hello. She frowned and I stepped back with a comment, “Maybe my mask scared her.”
Her momma replied, “If this keeps on going she won’t remember the time when we didn’t wear masks.”
Ugh! I wasn’t prepared to consider a world where masks are so normal a generation won’t remember not wearing them. Because I’m tired of virus talk, and weary of its background noise. Most days the waiting is tolerable but not this day, and I find myself praying Psalmist’s words, “How long, O Lord?”
The Isaraelites spent 400 years in silence between Malachi’s final word and Matthew’s first word. Four centuries passed without a message from God to the Israelites, without a prophet to herald the good news. 146,000 days of silence. Over 3.5 million hours without a word. Two hundred million plus moments. Generation upon generation waiting….
I can’t quite wrap my heart around God’s people waiting 400 years. How did Anna, the widow in Luke’s gospel, continue to spend day after day in the temple without a sound from God? Didn’t she get tired? Wasn’t she weary when months went by without change? Were there times she wanted to leave the praying behind and give up? Its hard to imagine an ancient Israelite woman worshipping God and praying for the silence to end most of her adult life.
Advent is the season of waiting and I hear Paul’s words,
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9
How do we guard against the weariness of this season? All the waiting? The bad news? Where do we turn when we feel like staying in bed or giving up? When quarnatine feels like forever and there’s no end in sight?
I would love to sit right down with Anna over a cup of steaming coffee and ask her how she did it.
But deep down I already know. She prayed, fasted, worshipped no matter what because she believed in a God who speaks. She believed the day was coming when God would show up.
I believe it too. I believe God speaks. I believe God shows up. I believe there is purpose in the waiting. Most of all I believe a day will come when God’s work is complete in me, in the world.
Like Anna I worship and pray, looking forward with anticipation to Jesus coming.
Until that day I’ll keep singing, though it might be a bit muffled by a mask, “My soul, my soul, maginifies the Lord, my soul magnifies the Lord. He has done great things for me, great things for me!”