Monday, November 30, 2009

The Paradox of Expectation

As Advent begins, I think of one of my favorite Advent quotes from Henri Nouwen. I share it with you in hopes that you have a blessed Advent.

The paradox of expectation indeed is that those who believe in tomorrow can better live today, that those who expect joy to come out of sadness can discover the beginnings of a new life in the center of the old, that those who look forward to the returning Lord can discover him already in their midst.

You know how a letter can change your day. When you watch people in front of the wall of mailboxes, you can see how a small piece of paper can change the expression on a face, can make a curved back straight, and a sullen mouth whistle again ...

A life lived in expectation is like a life in which we have received a letter, a letter which makes him whom we have missed so much return even earlier than we could imagine. Expectation brings joy to the center of our sadness and the loved one to the heart of our longings. The one who stayed with us in the past and will return to us in the future becomes present to us in that precious moment in which memory and hope touch each other.