Sunday, December 1, 2019

Unexpected: #AdventWord Day 1

My #AdventWord posts begin again! These daily reflections are accompanied with images I have captured and based upon the daily sacred word offered by Check it out. 

This year, #Advent started in a somewhat unexpected way: getting my first #tattoo. I have wanted a variation of this body art for several years, but the timing was not always right and I had not fully worked up the courage to commit to the design or incessant needling. Until now. The experience was unexpectedly sacred, as I shared a portion of my story with the artist, like how we battled infertility for years only to unexpectedly welcome twins, then their brother, and the unexpected arrival of our fourth bird after we were told there was no way. There was also the unexpected gift of an anecdote my artist gave me when he shared the ink was made of carbon, “the same stuff you are made of, my friend.” Then came the unexpected rush of connection I felt as Amber and I were inked at the same time, her design a variation of what she asked me to draw up several months ago. Life, much like the season of Advent, is a pilgrimage laced in the unexpected. Advent hinges on a journey to find “God with Us” when we may have not previously noticed or, even more so, struggled and questioned to see. For me, every time I look on my tricep, I will now be reminded of the ways God has come and will come unexpectedly in the midst of some of my most anxious moments (Matthew 6:25-34). I will be nudged to take comfort in a God whose presence is “comparable to a bird in flight in contrast to a caged bird” (Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction). And, yes, the flight pattern of birds is mysteriously unexpected and holy.

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