By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies. Is 30:15
Somehow this line from Isaiah ended up printed out and stuck in the interstices of my wall-mounted cache of folders early this fall. I can't recall why I printed it out then, but now I'm finding it a single, sharp point of contemplation for these last days of Advent. I'm still fighting off pneumonia, still wired on the various medications that ease my breathing, still unable to sing. So I wait, calmly (not calmly is not good for breathing, perforce), quietly (no voice - ack), and trusting that it will be fine. And it will.
This is a different kind of Advent stillness, not a full stop, not even a slowed pace. Not entered into as an elected discipline, it instead feels like a quietly directed contemplation of the vast landscape between uncertainty and trust. I feel like Mary, enormous with child, contemplating the roads ahead: the ones visible, the ones unseen, the ones unimaginable. If I were to do the Exercises again, I suspect I would see the road in that second contemplation of the Second Week -- the one that asks you to "to see with the sight of the imagination the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem; considering the length and the breadth, and whether such road is level or through valleys or over hills" -- with different eyes.
While I'm musing about hidden strengths here, my eldest is thinking here about his hidden strengths (which I would argue are very much what the world might need - if not so valued by the high school social scene).