Father . . . for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Luke 10:21
We are in the first days of Advent and the scriptures continue to challenge us to see life in a new light. Isaiah reminds us of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; “wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge and fear of the Lord”.
Gifts, this is the season for gift giving, and children and adults alike are making their gift suggestions to Santa or family and friends. And God has gifts to give as well. Many gifts to give and all we need to do is to take time to ask through prayer and reflection. We need to be “childlike” in our request. A child is curious, willing to try something new, sees the world as a place to explore and learn about. So too for our faith life. To be curious enough about our faith that we want to learn something new about the scriptures, Church teachings, or a new way to pray. To want to explore our world to ask about other faith traditions, cultures or try some different food. We don’t know what gift we have been given until we unwrap it and start playing with it or using it. When we are “childlike” we can see new possibilities to the world around us. God gives us courage, wisdom, understanding, strength, knowledge and fear of the Lord. (Just another way of saying wonder and awe.)
A gift that has been given to me this Fall came through my eldest stepson’s motorcycle accident. He was very fortunate to have only broken his right knee cap and right upper arm. He lives alone and needed care. Over that past two and a half months he has given me the gift of being a mother figure. Something I have not had an opportunity to experience. The changing of bandages, making him comfortable as best as could happen, picking up things at the pharmacy, cooking supper and learning a new card game which was not Old Maid or Go Fish. I have a good idea of what he likes for meals and he is into online gaming. He has introduced me to Game of Thrones, which now I am addicted to, and the watching of various car shows and formula one racing. It is now coming to an end this week when he returns to his home and my life returns to the routine I had before his stay with us. Or maybe not. Time to reflect on the many gifts this experience has given me. Perfect timing for Advent!
What experiences have changed you? How will this Advent be different from past ones?
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.