(adapted from Advent Longings, copyright 1997)
Listen to the voice of patience, the voice of God-fearing, God-trusting patience, through long dark years of waiting. Listen to the voice of Simeon:
“They come and go. From first light until last, from snuffing of the lamps to their rekindling–shuffling and shy or proud, pretentious folks–all of them come, and go. They bring their offerings, or buy them here: the lamb or kid or pair of turtledoves…they make confession, swear a vow, say a thanksgiving prayer–and then they’re gone, back into the world out there.
And with each footstep, I ask, ‘Is it now? Could this one be the One You promised us? He who will invest our coming and going with real meaning…Salvation and glory–not for the space of a day, or a year…not at the constant cost of bloody beasts…but everlasting Hope for our nation, and a light to lighten the whole world’s night!’
My corner seat is dark–my eyes, too weak to read, don’t need to see the scroll now anyway. Your Word I’ve hidden in my heart, and I am sure, waiting and watching in these shadows, You will not let me sink into the greater darkness before I see the first rays of the dawn You’ve sworn will come…
Outside the dusk is thickening into night again–and so I light my candle, and I wait.”