There I spend time in the cathedral, listen to Jesus, sing scripture with the monks, and find quite places on the acreage for reading, writing, and journaling.
I remember once walking along the trails through the forest…..
….and coming upon a sculpture of Mary.
At first I noticed myself slightly repulsed -- My protestant learnings were strongly at work. And yet, I found myself strangely captivated by the sculpture's artistry…or what was behind the artistry -- Mary's story. The artistry stopped me there, her story kept me there.
I considered a teenage girl receiving an incredible Word from God, filled with anticipation about an unknown future, in transition as her and Joseph left home, and on the night of her baby's birth unable to find a place to stay -- how difficult! And yet Mary says, "I am the Lord's servant! Let it happen as you have said."
As a family, we too have been filled with a Word from God -- to love Fresno and seek its renewal (spiritually, economically, relationally, etc.) by making life-long followers of Jesus in neighbourhood focused church plants across Fresno.
I have a lot to learn from Mary. I need to learn how to say, "Lord, let it happen as you have said." When I say that to the Lord, it doesn't yet feel like I believe it. I am learning how to have faith in only what God can do! Simon Weil, a french philosopher and Christian mystic wrote, "Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life." Waiting….expecting….and letting God do what God is going to do in and through our family.
This Advent….we are learning from Mary.