Lessons from the Darkness--Part 1--Expectation and Hope

advent darkness expectatation hope lessons light rest Nov 30, 2022

By Carol Woolum Roberts

(I am reposting this from a year ago, because my thoughts still remain the same).

I love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I embrace the darkening as I anticipate the light.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”.  If you listen to the melody, the minor chords transport me back to a time between the old and new testament in the Bible, when God did not make himself known for hundreds of years.  But there were people, like Simeon and Anna, who went to the temple daily to await the coming Messiah.  One day He arrived, the Light of the World had come.

As a gardener, I also love the dark days of winter.  The bulbs, the seeds, the perennial plants that are under the soil in my garden, are all resting.  They are gathering up energy so when the time comes and the soil warms, the days light lengthens, and the water comes down, the plants, like every other spring I have known, will once again burst forth with green shoots reaching for the sun.

Sitting at my desk, and looking out at the darkness of the evening, it may look as if nothing is happening around my home.  But that is not true.

Rest is a verb.  It is important to stop and rest.  It is important to sit and do nothing.  As creative people, our times of stopping and resting and thinking are just as important as our times of putting pen to paper, paintbrush to canvas, mouth to microphone.

A friend sent a quote to me and others in a group of creatives I belong to:

“Creative people need time to sit around and do nothing”.  This is a quote from Austin Kleon, who wrote the book “Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Ever Told You About Being Creative”.  

Sitting, resting, waiting…it is all a part of the creative process.

Darkness can help us to be patient.  It helps us to hang on and wait for things.  

From darkness, life emerges.  Jesus is Born!!  The green shoots of the plants come forth.  An idea for a story is written.  The melody of a new tune is hummed. The stroke of a paintbrush begins a new creation.

I have learned to embrace, not fear, the dark.  Because when on the path of darkness, light is always found at the end.

Last Sunday was the first day of Advent, a season of expectancy in the Christian church.

In the darkness, we have expectancy.  We expect to find the Light.  We expect to find the Truth.  We expect to find the Way.  We are on a journey through the darkness, and we eventually find the right path. We not only need to search for the light but listen to our inner voice that tells us which way to go.

Wrap yourself in the darkness of expectancy….



What sense of expectation are you feeling during this month of December?

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