Day 12 - Life is Advent

“The Lord is coming, always coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent: life is recognizing the coming of the Lord.”

-Henri Nouwen

This quote appeared in my inbox today, and I have to say it is precisely the message I needed to hear. Today, the Advent calendar encourages us to reach out to a family member with whom we may wish to have a closer relationship. I think this quote captures an expectation that we might find Jesus there.

I was born and raised in Texas, but both of my parents’ families resided in North Carolina, and many of their cousins were scattered throughout the United States, but none near us in Texas. Consequently, I have rarely met much of my extended family. Occasionally, we would travel back to North Carolina and visit, and I would briefly meet cousins, most of whom were significantly older than me.

A few years ago, on a trip to visit some friends, Sarah and I decided to drop in and visit one of my cousins, whom I may have previously met at most twice. She and her husband were gracious hosts. And before long, we were talking as if we had been friends for life. She was remarkably kind to Emeline and served us a lovely meal. We discovered we shared many things in common. It turns out we were both adoptive parents later in life. We were the “black sheep” of our families for many reasons. And our faith lives were on similar paths.

It has been wonderful to start this close friendship with a relative who could have easily slipped through the cracks. You might say the new relationship has brought us great joy. Life is advent, discovering Christ breaking into our lives in the most unexpected places.

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