Thursday, December 17, 2009


I came upon the word 'expectancy' in the book, "The Shack" a few years ago. It has rolled around in my mind, straightening my path, my attitude, and my actions since then. I can tell you that it is in the opposite direction and trouble of that other word, 'expectation', which usually leads to resentment, disillusionment, depression, and general malaise! Not a good path on which to travel or stay for very long.

I found myself overwhelmed as usual this time of year with too much to do, too little time, too many expectations, too little energy, and a general lack of excitement because of the emphasis on what needed to be done, bought, cooked, cleaned, then add one hundred more words. Mostly on the unrealistic expectations others have and I have of myself.

It seems that each Christmas season some small thing pierces the 'doing' and gets my heart back to the childlike expectancy of Advent. Waiting, joyfully watching, believing. Some of that arrived in my house today when I was putting together some gifts for my husband's workplace. An idea came to me about how to do a personal gift for some folks that do not expect one. It is such a fun thing to do because of the very fact that they do not expect anything. No exchange, no drawing names, no reason, except to be singled out and given a gift. Those are sometimes hard to get and receive for many reasons. Freely given? Must be a catch. I must hurry out and get something to give back. What do they want? What did I do to deserve this? Oh my!


I decided to post a picture of this creche that I photographed at a house on the Progressive Dinner route. Its simplicity shot an arrow of love right to the point of my need. I remembered how Jesus did not come in the way he was expected. Surely this could not be the Messiah! Our KING born to a virgin as a baby in a lowly manger? Expectations of how and when his kingdom would come to be? They are still all over the chart.

But the expectancy every Christmas, when it pierces my heart, is fulfilled when I realize I have been the recipient of many undeserved gifts. GRACE, MERCY, UNSPEAKABLE JOY, PEACE WITH GOD, A FUTURE AND A HOPE, ETERNAL LIFE. I can't earn any of that list. I can't even give a gift back except to love this little one who would grow to be my Savior; to let that seed of the kingdom which lives in me shine with love.

Expectancy can only be quenched by God. It is not a Christmas list to be fulfilled. It is more simple and complex at the same time than something that can be written down and demanded. It is the awesome way in which God shows up, perhaps in the way we least expect; then in the manger, and now in our daily lives. The LIGHT came to earth that we might be LIGHT to others.

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