The theme for this week’s devotionals is “I wait for the Lord.” It strikes me that we spend much of our time finding the most efficient ways to accomplish daily tasks and avoid waiting. We hope the red light turns green; we choose self-checkout at the supermarket; we use instant foods to shorten meal prep time. Modern life does not teach us how to wait.
Yet life is also full of waiting. We wait for the new life of spring, for a child to be born, for news of a job offer or results of a medical test. The question is not if we wait, but how we wait.
In her book Seven Sacred Pauses, Benedictine sister Macrina Wiederkehr explores the practice of praying through the Liturgy of the Hours. The first hour is Matins or Vigils, prayed in the dark of the night before dawn. Wiederkehr describes this night watch as a time to wait for the Lord:
“When I rise from my sleep for prayer, I keep vigil with Christ, who is always keeping vigil. I keep vigil with my heart’s eternal questions and deep longings… I keep vigil with those whose tired hearts have lost hope… I pray for those with fearful hearts, for those whose courage is waning. I pray for those who have lost vision of what could be. When I rise in the middle of the night, my prayer is simply one of waiting in silence, waiting in darkness, listening with love.”
As we wait in the darkness of Lent, may we wait with hope for the Light that we cannot yet see, as we turn inward, listen intently and keep vigil.