The James Webb Space Telescope images have given the world a view the world never seen before. What we see has been “there” for oh so long, but we are just now able to “see”. I am mesmerized by the images. To see more Webb images, click https://webbtelescope.org/news/first-images/gallery .
This new year, (the one that begins on Sunday, December 3), our theme is “Watch for the Light”; it is the title of our Advent study book, and it is my prayer for us in everything we do. To watch means to gaze at, or to observe (like the telescope). If we are watching, we will see beauty unfathomable.
More than twenty of us gathered in our candle-lit sanctuary on Wednesday evening, to read, share, and pray. There was a poem I had never read before—and I had to read it several times to even begin to understand the meaning. Eventually, as I gazed upon the words, I began to see.
Black Rook In Rainy Weather
On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain-
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident
To set the sight on fire
In my eye, nor seek
Any more in the desultory weather some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall
Without ceremony, or portent.
Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain:
A certain minor light may still
Out of kitchen table or chair
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then —
Thus hallowing an interval
By bestowing largesse, honor
One might say love. At any rate, I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); skeptical
Yet politic, ignorant
Of whatever angel any choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant
A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content
Of sorts. Miracles occur.
If you care to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance
Miracles. The wait's begun again,
The long wait for the angel,
For that rare, random descent.
As we watch, together, the mundane “arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain”, may we see a miracle of sorts and know a “brief respite from fear”. Let us watch for the light—for incarnation this Advent, this year, in this beautiful life.