No one would listen to a song that cried out, “Mary, did you know that your child would languish in depression such that death was hoped for?” A song that proclaimed, “Mary, did you know that your baby boy would be shot by police because he was too afraid to ask for help and too proud to act vulnerable?” would never receive any attention. So what does Advent have for those of us who are so pained by life that it’s hard to believe that a savior will be born?
I’m not writing this so that you will engage me on the fine points of theology. I have answers to that question that satisfy both my faith and my longing on the dark nights of my soul. But I’m asking that question because I know that joy does not come easily for many and hope feels too dangerous for some. I’m asking that question because we should pause to hear the cries of those for whom expectant hope is too much to ask. Please don’t tell me how your Savior has walked you through the darkness. Instead, look around for those who need your love to hold them through the pain. Please be hope in the darkness for others. That’s the Christmas miracle I'm praying for tonight.