The Sacrament of Waiting

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Jospeph Campbell – 

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Traffic lights, coffee queues, airport security, hospitals … they have a common theme: waiting! And I am not very good at it. But these last 2 weeks, with a loved on in hospital, I have become reacquainted with this discipline and grace.

I was reminded of Macrina Wiederkehr’s beautiful poem, The Sacrament of Waiting. May it speak to you as it has to me – enjoy!

Slowly
she celebrated the sacrament of letting go.
First she surrendered her green,
then the orange, yellow, and red
finally she let go of her brown.
Shedding her last leaf
she stood empty and silent, stripped bare.
Leaning against the winter sky
she began her vigil of trust.

Shedding her last leaf
she watched its journey to the ground.
She stood in silence
wearing the color of emptiness,
her branches wondering;
How do you give shade with so much gone?

And then,
the sacrament of waiting began.
The sunrise and sunset watched with tenderness.
Clothing her with silhouettes
they kept her hope alive.

They helped her understand that
her vulnerability,
her dependence and need,
her emptiness,
her readiness to receive
were giving her a new kind of beauty.
Every morning and every evening they stood in silence
and celebrated together
the sacrament of waiting.

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7 thoughts on “The Sacrament of Waiting”

  1. A thought provoking poem…The twinkling stars remind me every night (as I journey with my rubbish bag to the refuse) that ‘waiting’ is not wrong, nor for the weak….but rather for the strong and that God would trust me enough to cope with what has been given to me……..but then Queensland roads make me think He trusts me way too much! Love it Nicole!!!

    1. Thank you for sharing your reflection, Pina. He does trust us way too much! 🙂 xx

  2. Very true for all of us who hate just waiting and instead we find ourselves filling in every moment incase we may be just waisting time..
    love the quote that even in the waiting there is so much more than what we may have had before. Thanks Nicole

    1. Thank you for your comment, Maria – waiting is so counter cultural, isn’t it?

  3. What a great poem. It’s amazing the profound lessons to be learned from trees. No wonder there are so many references to them in Scripture. As it has been said, “We live between the trees.” Thanks Nicole.

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