Proof of Hope

The Advent season is one of waiting for that which is coming. This year, we curated Advent readings and original Christmas recordings to help you set your mind and heart on the necessity of Christ. On this second Sunday of Advent, let your thoughts be guided by this original poem by Sandra McCracken.

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Like the Philistine, who comes out again, Day after day, he comes to taunt Israel. Morning and night, He comes out to jeer and stir up trouble.

Like a predatory bird Hovering and casting a shadow over me, forcing the gasp of air out of my lungs. A forced inhale then an exhale Of audible breath Groaning Like something heavy is pressing down on my chest. A primal sigh of ‘being’ And a quiet declaration, “I am here.”

I take refuge in the old, safe places. In the kitchen cabinet, next to the pots beneath the brown telephone in the house where I was a little girl. The orange carpet and the steam from the spaghetti hot on the stove. Peeking out of the slats on the wooden cupboard, I am on my knees and small. But I am here, and I feel it all. Already, but not yet, triumphant.

I will not quit.

Today, this gasping breath is my protest. My proof of hope, Proof of the new day coming.

The Light streaming in makes me squint my eyes. It’s so dark in here sometimes. The light and the darkness are visible measurements of the unseen stretching of my spiritual rib cage, Making more room.

Like a Mother bird hovers over her young, I am protected. I am shielded to the side, away from danger, And I will not receive the force of the fierce winds. But I can hear them whistling outside through the shelter of the slats, like feathers that surround me in safety.

Let there be no doubt that God is God. Still there is doubt. Let there be no doubt. Still there is heat. My chest swells up with tears that spill out of my eyes. Creation rises up, too. Her cries of expectation are like my own. Her exhale, “Have mercy.” Her inhale, mercy rushes in quick.

As it was, before all this. As it was, before I was here. As it was, when I was yet, small. Still I am small. As it is, presently. And as it ever shall be.

I position my hopes, carefully I position one stone in the sling I position the trumpet to my lips.

My breath goes out with marked effort As I raise my arms and narrow my eyes. One shot.

Triumphant.

Lift up your heads, You will be raised. Like morning. Like the inhale. The breath itself, proof of hope. The call, to be seen. The response, to be heard. The breath, to be loved.

- Sandra McCracken

Download the complete Advent guide and original Christmas recordings at bloodwaterstore.org/christmas.