Advent has been a time of darkness for me. Each year since becoming a Christian, I have experienced tremendous spiritual emptiness during Advent. Then, usually around Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, the clouds part a tiny bit and let a fraction of the coming light shine through. My spirits lift, my smile broadens, and I feel slightly more prepared for the coming.
This year, Jesus has seen fit to make his presence known during the dark days of Advent. I have felt his mercy pouring forth. My heart has been ablaze with his love.
Today on the way to bible study at church, I realized that one of the great gifts the Lord has given me is the ability to love without fear. I was awestruck by the miracle of that. By the time I got to church, I was in tears. I think the parking lot attendant was concerned! But I was fine. I was crying for joy.
Last Saturday I went to a funeral for a friend from Grace. He died unexpectedly. The church was filled. People got up and talked about him and how much they loved him and how much they felt loved by him. It occurred to me that it is a great gift to love others. And to be able to love fearlessly is one of Christ's tender mercies.