Monday, December 02, 2019

First Week of Advent: Bubbles

I enter the coffeehouse as I do most Friday mornings. I've been coming here often enough that the barista knows I'll want a mug of whatever dark roast they're serving. I chuckle to myself every week when he starts my order before I do. I'd also like breakfast, and they have one of the most amazing omelettes I can find in the area, so today I feel like having one of those.

I take my mug to my table and open my laptop. I soon discover that I've forgotten my flash drive so I won't be able to do the church-related stuff that I'd planned to take care of, so I click to my blog's content management system instead.

It's time to start writing another series of Advent reflections. I've been doing this for so long that, even if nobody else in the entire universe expects me to do these every year, I still expect it from myself. Unfortunately for me, however, this year the blinking cursor on the empty white screen seems to have taken on a slightly mocking tone.

If there's a way to blink in an adversarial manner, this cursor has found a way.

My gaze drops from the screen to my coffee. Some bubbles have congregated around the outer edges. I watch them float, adjusting themselves to the slight movement of the table.

A toddler, happily babbling to herself as her mom urges her toward the door, catches my attention and I smile. The mom offers a small smile back.

They pass. My eyes drift back to the screen. The cursor blinks.

I'm supposed to be thinking about hope this week. That's the traditional thing. Find some metaphor for hope, and write about it. Come on, the cursor says, you've done this how many times? You can find hope in things like weeds and blueberries, so let's do it again.

I admit that I'm a bit distracted this time around. I'm thinking more about impeachment hearings and children in cages at our border. I'm preoccupied with the flash drive I left at home and a workshop I need to lead tomorrow and a prescription I need to fill.

Is there hope in so much worry and conflict and responsibility? What is there to hope for in the midst of all of this? What does hope look like in so much uncertainty?

My head drops again and I watch the bubbles. They just keep floating, doing their best as the darkness moves around them.

And then, just like that, I finally have my answer.

(Image source)