“Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The season of Advent is just around the corner. It is indeed a time that we can see the wonder and beauty of life through the eyes of a child. A child born into lowly beginnings, the Chosen One, comes into this world and chooses us, the lowly, to do his bidding. He takes us right where we are and asks us to do his work on earth. Like a child who has the power to delight and disarm us with their smile and innocence, Jesus moves in on our hearts, nudges us, and invites us to receive a miraculous power and strength that guides us to listen, heal, forgive, inspire, and offer hope to others. These gifts are given freely.
Remember how wonderful the world seemed when you were a child? You carried the magic of the season deep within you. Jesus wants us to exude that same joy and wonder today in the everyday experiences of our lives. Candy Paull, in her book, The Art of Abundance, reflects on abundance as, “a way to become aware of the small, the little, and the least that offers us an opportunity to open our hearts to a larger perspective.”
The question we must ask ourselves is, “What is the larger perspective for us this season? No matter what our present circumstances, what is most important for us to remember, as we rejoice in a God who is so great that he calls on us, in our lowliness, to become his eyes, ears, mouth, and body here on earth?”
In a world where we find much despair, how can we become a glorious light in the darkness? We ask God in prayer to help us to bravely go into those dark places whether it is in our community, our family, school or church, or wherever God calls on us. May we have the courage that Mary, Jesus’ Mother had, to trust in God’s call and resoundingly answer, “Yes!”
This woman of lowly means and stature was chosen by God to give birth in a humble stable. It was there among the animals and stench that our God came to us in human nature. Visited first by the lower class shepherds, Jesus was right at home from the very beginning. He absolutely knows the right perspective. It is all about love, regardless of our position and privilege; we are called to emulate Jesus here on earth.
As we look forward the season of Advent let us gain the proper perspective. It’s simple. (OK, not always easy.) Every morning ask Jesus to guide you toward his perspective and to give you the strength and courage to live from that place of love and wonder.
It is a paradox that only when we see things from the perspective of the weak, humble, struggling, excluded, and broken that indeed we truly experience a season of wonder. Advent is the beginning of the greatest love story ever told. Let’s move into our days from that perspective.