- janet anderson
- I now live in Victoria, after a couple years on the North Shore of Vancouver, and a (too) brief time in the prairies. Working as an artist, mother and wife (not necessarily in that order), i am striving to live well, to find the truth of God in all things, and to pass on this truth to others.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
i love to get my Christmas shopping finished before december for a few reasons (the biggest being that i love buying presents so i start as early as possible). the BEST reason is so that once the big month hits, i can snuggle up to advent. i swing my hips side to side, pushing away the debris, and roost.
my mother-in-law gave me this creche scene one year. the shepherds look like they've just stepped out of a dickens novel, and there are no wise men or animals - which some might find essential - but i just love it. i love the beggarly quality of the shepherds. i love the serenity and joy of mary, throwing her arms up in response to her baby's chubby hands reaching towards her. i just know she's about to kiss him. she'll dig her nose into his neck and smell the baby skin, and wonder how she could love a little child any more - and then he'll grab a fist-full of her hair and try to pull it out of her head. because he was human, and naive, and unaware - and none of these traits of humanity are sinful.
what an honour to the human race that God chose to incarnate himself through our frail and fallible form. breathtaking.
it's been snowing every day for the last while. shadows are blue, the world is a little brighter any hour of the day, the evergreens look like hallmark cards, my nose is a permanent shade of red and we can no longer get into the backyard through our side gate. you can see why above. and although the shovelling is tiring, and finding a parking spot is a nightmare, and i had my first fender-bender yesterday - there's nothing better than watching your little ones frolic in the snow. i know, you're thinking that a good frolic at the beach is nice....true. but the rosy cheeks and the mittened hands and the smokey laughs. i love it!
something else i love about this saskatoon winter is that i can make decorations out of ice. so, a bundt pan and an old wreath make:
can't do that in BC!
I've been working with some fellow artists at our church on an advent prayer guide, and a visual art show called "the empty chair initiative". i was thinking about advent a few months ago, looking for an image to paint for the church, and i came across a chair in a field of wildflowers. instantly i was thinking about waiting - who was the chair meant for? how long has it been sitting there? consequently i began seeing areas of my life as a chair waiting to be filled: my longings for my neighbours that seem to fall short, my desires for my friends to know the fullness of a life lived for Christ, my yearning for my children to deeply grasp the truth. i thought of how at some Jewish dinner (is it Passover?) there's an empty chair left for Elijah, the prophet who is to precede the Messiah. of empty chairs which stand as memorials to people who sat in them (ever see Nanny McPhee?). and then i pictured a wall covered in images of chairs, communicating where we as a church family long for Jesus to show up in our world, long for the Messiah and his kingdom, places where we wait in eager anticipation for Christ to come again.
well, i got 5. not exactly a covered wall, but it's a start! the little show was hung in the church on Friday and I feel very proud of it. Four of the images can be seen in the prayer guide, which you can find here. i think i've done the work of preparing for this season well, now i just need to rest in it. which, truthfully, can be the harder work for some reason.
my prayer for us is that this advent season is one of new awareness: of our longing, our need, our dependence, our hope; and a fuller understanding of the miracle of a God 'putting skin on and moving into the neighbourhood' - as Eugene Peterson so eloquently puts it. heaven forbid that Christmas should pass us by, and we remain unchanged.