This Advent, I’ve been thinking about waiting. So many of the Advent readings reflect not just on Mary’s anticipation of the birth of Jesus, but also the the nation’s waiting for a political savior. We read of people’s waiting on a future where there will be justice, a righting of wrongs, and an end to sorrow.

I’ve been wondering where I’m waiting for the wrong thing. For years, I asked God to release me from the practice of medicine. Faithfully, daily, I begged God to let me stop being a doctor. The persistent widow had nothing on me. God said no. Persistently, daily, gently: No. Now, fifteen years on, I’m grateful for that No, but it was a long road to get here, and I spent much of it waiting on the wrong thing.

I look at the rising tide of racism in our country, the online bullying of a 16 year-old by the President of the United States, families losing access to food assistance, children fleeing violence and hunger in their home countries who think they’ve reached freedom only to be held in detention without access to medical care or education, and I want a political solution.

I walk alongside families whose loved ones are wasting away from cancer and chemo, or autoimmune diseases that ravage their bodies, and wonder When will there be healing? It can’t be wrong to ask and hope for physical healing, but when the answer is No, what then?

So I’m praying and contemplating this Advent. Wondering in which wrong places I have set my hope. Asking for God to open my eyes to where Hope is at work even now, even today, even in me. And I’m waiting for justice and healing, here and now. What are you waiting for?

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