My one word for 2013.
The word gently nudging and tugging at my consciousness as I ponder and pray over 2012 passing into 2013.
Diligence - constancy, earnestness, faithfulness, engagement.
Diligence is the how in our waiting. It's the direction in our unanswered prayers. It's the what to do when we don't know quite what to do.
Be diligent. Act diligently.
2013 for me is going to be a lot of waiting. Waiting for Hannah* to come home, waiting for our family to be fully formed, waiting for other things I don't yet know I'm waiting for.
For now, everything which must be done on this side of the world is done. Now, we're waiting for everything which must be done on the South Africa side of the world for Hannah to come home, to be home, to know home.
So we wait.
But I know what comes with waiting - the sitting down.
Sitting down is fine when you're waiting for the dentist to call you back to the exam room, your date to pick you up, the church service to start - but sitting down and waiting in life...
It's rather easy to do actually. Get up, brush your teeth, go to work, come home, watch TV, brush your teeth, go to bed. You go through the motions of what absolutely must be done. Has to be done. Needs to be done. But your brain, your spirit, your body, they're waiting for the answered prayer, waiting for life to begin again.
But I think when we wait upon the Lord - when we're waiting on his promises to be fulfilled, when we're waiting on answered prayers, when we're waiting for him to show up - the challenge is to not to fall into a sit down kind of wait but a diligent, engaging kind of wait.
Like Zechariah and Elizabeth who waited expectantly for a child, but in their pain and lament of waiting carried on with their duties - Zechariah's priestly duties, their duties to their community, their duties to their family and friends, their duties to their faith.
Like the Prophetess Anna who every day rose to worship the Lord while she waited for the fulfillment of God's promise of the coming Messiah.
Like the widow who rose up everyday with her little bit of flour and her little bit of oil and faithfully made bread for herself and her son and Elijah while she waited for the famine to end.
Like Ruth who continued in her duties as a daughter-in-law as she waited for the Lord to redeem Naomi's line through Boaz.
Like Samuel and his mother Hannah. Like Mary the mother of God and Joseph. Like Moses and Joshua. Like Hosea and Ezekiel. Like Paul and the other apostles.
Waiting in the Lord, I believe is a different kind of waiting. It's a diligent waiting in which we engage with our communities, we give our best to our families and friends, we excel in our work and we practice the disciplines of faith - all with hope that diligence will some day be rewarded with the coming of the Lord.
We do not give up. We do not cease in our striving. We do not forget the God who has created us.
We hold fast to our faith. We join with others to pray and lament and rejoice. We grow and we stretch and we believe someday is coming.
Someday my someday daughter will be home. Someday she'll be here in my arms. Someday she'll laugh with her cousins and snuggle with her grandparents. Someday we'll be a family forever.
But today I get up and I exercise my body, my spirit and my mind - molding them into the postures of worship and love. Today I bless my family and allow them to be a blessing to me. Today I work hard at my job and keep my tongue from gossip. Today I enter into my community of faith to love and rejoice and lament and hope. Today I live out good news for the poor and release for the prisoners.
Today I choose diligence. Today I choose constancy. Today I choose earnestness. Today I choose faithfulness. Today I choose engagement.
Today I choose the diligent Christ who shows me and teaches me how to be diligent and constant within myself.
*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all online activity regarding my someday daughter and her adoption.
Please consider helping us raise the last bit of Hannah's adoption fees:
1. Buy a t-shirt from AdoptionBug.com.
2. Buy coffee from JustLoveCoffee.com.
3. Send a check to Oasis Haven US: (Your gift through Oasis Haven US is tax deductible.)
PO Box 28362
San Diego, CA
*Please write "adoption support" on the memo line.