O Come, O Come

Today in the English worship service I attended, we sang "O Holy Night." And as the music began, I found myself closing my eyes against tears. I was filled with joy and my soul leaped and shouted that first verse and chorus. And as I sang from the deepest places, the darkest places,  I was reminded of a phrase in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath where he mentions Tom Joad's pregnant sister, Rose of Sharon, smiling the secret smiles of a mother. I found, as I sung, one of those secret smiles on my face. And I couldn't stop.

This Advent season is so real to me. Advent is about waiting and expectation and I've never waited for or expected anything in quite the same way as the arrival of my son. I thought about Mary and how she, too, expected a son.

I have to confess that today was a new experience for me. It's not normal for me to consider Jude's coming with a "secret smile," with a sense of peace or imagining that I will be a good mother. Usually, the idea of his birth is surrounded by feelings of doubt and uncertainty. But today, for the first time, I felt that I was meant to be Jude's mother.

None of these sentences are saying what I want to tell you. Today, Jude moved inside me when I sang about the coming Christ child. And something inside my heart shifted towards this small boy whom I've yet to meet. And I began to wait with great anticipation, excitement, and some unfathomable love I've not felt before.

Now it begins.

Jude, I am waiting for you, and this waiting is so sweet. I have not yet been made fully ready, but a few more months and I will be.

Christ, I am waiting for you, and this waiting is so sweet. Your love and your coming is the promise I cling to. You are what makes me ready. O come, O come, Emmanuel. 
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