-Pastor Melissa Fain-
My plant is dying. My literal plant.
A year and a half ago I was gifted a Christmas cactus. I have already told you I have a terrible green thumb. Everything I seem to touch just wilts to death.
Somehow, probably because it's a Christmas Cactus, it has remained alive for over a year.
Only now it is dying.
The week from hades.
Personally, this week has been just fine.
Ministry related, this might go down as one of the worst since the advent of this site.
I had a personal moment. I'm not going to be the widow with her last bit of oil and flour, waiting for God to send someone to make that last little bit hold out. (1 Kings 17:8-16). I'm also done with the phrase, "If you build it, they will come." Actually, no they won't. Not in an altruistic sense, or to put it another way, not in a sense that is selfless or cares for the needs of others. Not on the internet. Finally, I realized I am the brand whether I want to be or not. It was time to start selling me.
These were all good things, and good realizations.
So you know what I went and did?
Well, on the first Sunday of Advent, I got the worship ready extra early. I changed up the colors. I put out the nativity and our dinky homemade advent wreath, and everything was ready to go... until is wasn't. The very first Sunday of Advent! One of the big Sundays in the Christian Calendar Fig Tree failed and I had to quit and admit defeat!
Meanwhile, I have a book I'm trying to sell. Not just any book, but the book that started with an almost decade long writing process. I have five books. Three are written and are partially edited. One is still a draft. The fifth is the completely written, through the beta-testing, and is being queried to agents. (Query is a fancy word for "I'm trying to sell this book and myself, please take me as a client.) I decided I needed to put myself completely out there. I took my secondary site, and revamped it. I put samples of all my creative endeavors in one place. Papercraft, drawing, audio, digital, and knotted art. Everything on the website I did! Then it links back here at the end to see the decade of writing. (Actually, it's meant to loop. The "About the Pastor" tab here jumps to the website over there, and that exists for anyone interested in more than my writing.)
Well, wouldn't you know it? The website failed on that exact Sunday! For days now I've been trying to get someone to help fix the problem.
This lead me here.
This week is all about hope.
Making Time for Hope
Perhaps I'm the most prepared to talk about Hope from an American Advent context. Everything appears to be crashing in December. Fall decorations come down, while Christmas decorations go up. Kids have twenty-two events going on, and older kids have tests to round out the semester. Family comes to visit, or you visit family. Just that alone can completely distract from the entire point. Christmas isn't about any of those things. Well, it is about healthy family structures, but not the other things.
That's why this week, the week my focus cleared and then crashed to a halt, is still a week I have to make time for God. ESPECIALLY THIS WEEK!
Perhaps my hope is coming as a mini-lament, but most hope is born from lament. It's when nothing is working that something new can be born. It's a time to hard stop and ask God what God wants. Perhaps God wants us to wait. Pause. Stop. Perhaps God wants us to act. Go. Affect. The point is, until intentionally make time for God, we can't know.
It's time for hope.