I’ve just returned from a two day silent retreat. I find so much peace in silence and solitude and I am an extreme extrovert! Part of constructing a life during a very, very busy and full season is finding ways to connect with myself and God for some extended time. After the first three hours of silence words flooded onto my notebook (I forgot my journal…another sign of why I needed solitude). It was cathartic. I went to Whidbey Island and stayed at the same house we go away to for our annual women’s retreat. There is a sweeping view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountain range. It was a rich time. Listening to my soul’s need for rest and hearing the voice of the Spirit whispering to my heart. I returned home this afternoon to snow. Beautiful!
Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. Rich and I and some others decorated the facility late this afternoon. Fresh evergreens for the Advent wreath, purple everywhere…I love Advent. I used to love Christmas. Now I love the daily reflection of looking for the light of Christ coming into darkness. As someone who leads a faith community, pastors’ people, I get to see the darkness in lives up close and personal. The darkness of marriages ending, of addictions that enslave, of the death of loved ones, I could go on and on. Advent reminds me that the light of Christ dispels the darkness. Christ brings hope, peace, love and joy even in the midst of the darkness. While I was on Whidbey I was watching as the sun set behind the water and the mountains, it was completely dark, but I could see a light blinking across the water…a lighthouse…that’s what Jesus is to me…the words from the prophet Isaiah came to me
“The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned”
Ray Bakke is our guest tomorrow. I hope the snow doesn’t impede him or anyone else to celebrate the season.