Since the beginning of Advent, I have been giving Advent Meditations at the hospital where I work. It is twenty minutes of peaceful, thoughtful time. Time to listen, to be silent and to share. The topics have paralleled the Advent candles: hope, peace, joy and love. This week our topic is love, and the symbol I use this time is a geode. The outside of the geode represents what we look like without the love and eyes of God: dull, rough and even ugly. When the geode is turned over, it glistens. The inside is crystallized, magnificent and breath-taking.
It is a wonder that God loves us so much that God gave a part of Himself so that we might be free. He became like the outside of the geode...I imagine Jesus to be, not like the artist’s rendition, but short, a long, unattractive nose and very plain looking. In one of his liturgy classes, Don asked the group, “Which of you would vote for Jesus if he were running for the office of President?” I don’t think any one of us would.
But the inside of the man was God himself. Brilliant, too bright to gaze upon, all powerful and the very essence of love--selfless, kind, sacrificing and true. Who would have guessed that a plain Jewish man could be the One promised by God so long ago?
And then we are challenged...we are given the eyes of God when we welcome this short Jewish man into our lives. And what do we see when we look at others? Do we see the rocky, non-descript, even sometimes ugly and unattractive rock? Or do we see the brilliance and beauty of one made by God?
Advent is not only a time to welcome the little Jewish baby into our lives. It is also a time to welcome others in as well. Those who are the most unlikely to be welcomed, the unexpected ones who come across our paths in unique and unlooked-for ways. Those who carry the imprint of God within their souls.