Discouragement will come in the natural course of life. There has never been a saint at home that has never felt exiled. There has never been a saint abroad that has never felt abandoned.
“Now is the time of the color purple. Purple is a sad color; purple is a serious color.” So goes the beginning of a script we say to ourselves during advent, these weeks of waning light, abundant longing, sparse praise, alien hope and hard-fought prayer. But the script continues: “Purple is the color of kings.” So now is the time we remember: a king came, a king went…he came and went again…he will come again. But, until the will is struck we still wait stricken.
So, for now, we wait.
And pray for hints of his coming, one more minute of expanding light, sunset a sliver later, sunrise a slice earlier. But in these days of gray skies and brown yards what is an extra minute when the sun is still hidden?
Clouds are veils of recollection. They hide the sun to stimulate memory, a light that endures like the remembrance of Hanukkah miracles.
So, I awaken this day in remembrance of God, the forerunner of jailed Joseph, the rear guard of flagged David, and the consolation of deflated Elijah.
There are only a few days' span between these shorter hours of sunlight and the dawning of a new season--just as death could not hold Jonah and Jesus for long. Until then, his remembrance is sufficient for he is not slow in keeping his promise.