Today is the first Sunday in Advent. In my Christian religious tradition (ELCA Lutheran), Advent is more than a time when we light the candles on the Advent wreath and open windows of our Advent calendar to get a cheap piece of chocolate.
It's a time to watch and wait, a time to light candles and listen for God's call. Last night, as I waited for it to be time to go meet friends for dinner before my spouse's holiday concert, I made this sketch and haiku like creation:
But a sketch I made on Friday also seems appropriate:
I started with the swirling colors, but then I decided to also write down every vocation to which I've ever felt called--my present position as a dean is there, but so are many others. Of course, as I look over this sketch, I realize I left out some calls--there were years when I'd have told you how I felt called to be an actress on Broadway.
I do note that I didn't put Composition teacher in the sketch, and I've probably spent more years of my life doing that than any other occupation. I also didn't put down backpacking counselor at a Girl Scout camp, which I don't feel called to do any more, but that summer of being the backpacking counselor shaped me in many ways.
I so enjoyed that sketch that I made this one Friday night:
I've been journaling in this way every day since the beginning of my online journaling class on Nov. 4. It's been intriguing to me to see what emerges. It's also interesting to see what can be done with 7 markers: 4 colors and 3 black markers with varying tips.
I'm also intrigued by how the drawings and comments of others in the online journaling course shapes my sketching. I posted this sketch:
My instructor said, "What a gift this image will be to your soul's library! A sacred seeing + creative breakthrough = Wow!"
And then this sketch emerged:
It will be interesting to go through this Advent season sketching daily. I wonder what will emerge. Perhaps I will write a poem about the sketchbook as our contemporary angel who announces God's plans.
Advent reminds us that God's new creation is both now and not yet. Our Advent stories remind us that God has a vision that might disrupt our carefully planned lives. Think of Mary who will have a baby who will be the savior, or Joseph who will be the father to this savior, or Elizabeth who will have a child in her post-menopausal years.
God still chooses unexpected ways to be in touch with us--what will this Advent bring?