Loving Us So Dearly (an Advent prayer for pastors)

On a frigid winter day,
Snow on the ground,
the sky crystalline,
I drove home on a quiet highway
with too much time to think
about the things I didn’t do well enough –
too much time to run
on the hamster wheel in my head
chasing if onlys,
too much time to wonder
if I misunderstood
what you wanted me to do.

It’s a December memory,
and not the only year I’ve felt that way in Advent.

Longest Night 2010, North Yarmouth Congregational Church
Longest Night 2010, North Yarmouth Congregational Church

There is still so much more to do:
sermons,
confirming readers,
checking for candles,
Longest Night,
Christmas Eve.

Don’t get me started
on undone things at home.

What do you want from me?

The organ track on the Christmas CD ended,
and I heard the opening bars of
O Come All Ye Faithful.
Too soon, I thought.
I was none-too-triumphant.

Why did you want me?
(Did you want me?)

They sang one verse a capella,
the choir in the recording,
and I sang with them until I heard
the answer to my question in a question:

“Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?”

Tears blurred to snowflakes
on the windshield.
“Thank you,”
I murmured to the sharp sky.
Thank you.
Amen.

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