“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” —John 14:18

I don’t have parents yet…I’m still waiting for my case worker to find me some.” These piercing words from my nine-year-old-orphan-friend have been left ringing in my ears over and over these past weeks. “I’m still waiting”—these few words so heavy for a little heart to carry, so hard for my heart to hear, yet they seemed strangely familiar to me. Her yearning for adoption, her cry for the wrong things to be made right, her desire to be accepted and known, felt recognizable to my heart too. It is the cry that is hidden deep within all of our souls.

This Advent season as I am meditating on the One who came my heart is crying out like my orphan-friend— I’m still waiting—eagerly anticipating the Day when He will come again. The word Advent comes from the Latin noun adventus, which means “coming.” The verb of the Latin word for Advent is advenio.  It means simply: “I arrive.  I come.  I am coming.”

As I look back to the manger and meditate on the One who came—that Promised Seed, that Root out of dry ground, that Rod from the stem of Jesse—my heart longs and waits for the Day of His return.

As I hear this little girls’ silent cry, I don’t have all the answers to give her nine-year-old-aching-waiting heart but I do know the Answer. Even though I don’t understand why one small child has to carry so much pain, I do know that there is One who cares. And so I wait with her. I look into her dark black eyes and tell her that there is One who came and there really is One who is coming.

We do not wait without hope because one night a small Infant was laid in a manger. We do not wait in vain because one day a Man was laid upon a crossbeam.

Last night as I held the communion trays at service, holding those small pieces of bread for the endless line of people coming to receive. I felt the remembrance. As each one came to take the bread as their own promise of life, I felt the gift that He gave to each one of us. Face after face appeared before me and I had in my hand the gift ready to give them. And without this gift none of us would have life, we and that line of people would simply die and that would be then end of our story. Yet I held in my hands the evidence that He came— I held my hands tightly around the reason why we wait and do not give up—He is coming!

So when the tears come or hard words hit our hearts this Advent season we do not have to grieve as those who grieve without hope. We do not have to stutter for a response or search for a reason when we experience pain because we have The Reason to rejoice. There is a real Day ahead when He will return for us. And our God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, personally addressing the individual pain in our hearts bringing healing.  This is our hope. This is Advent: He came and He is coming—we will not be left as orphans!

~Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord~

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