We begin Advent in the dark. The kind of dark you can touch. The kind of dark that has substance.
Before the first candle. Before we ignite in the heavy silence there is only darkness and it is here we must begin.
Before the light, is the dark.
In the terrible dark is the weight that sits heavy on our chests, ribs cracking under pressure, lungs gasping for air. Eyes open wide even in the blackness. Even though we know we will see nothing. In this dark is every fear.
It is loss. It is war. It is addiction. It is sickness. It is loneliness. Anxiety. Desperation.
The breaking point.
And the ache.
The wrenching of the heart. The jaw-grinding, body-shaking thirst for dawn.
And sometimes - listen to me - to ache is enough.
It’s okay to not be the strong one, for a while. It’s okay.
Just to know there’s more. To ache for it. To cry out for home. To know there are answers but to be unable to hold them for a while. Open hands.
To want something undefined, to want something defined, to want something because you don’t know what the hell else to do. Closed fists.
To ache for the world we know we can have but can’t seem to reach. To ache for the truth promised in all these holiday lights we cling to for a few short weeks. To ache for wholeness. To ache for touch. To ache for hope.
We can’t stay here, in the dark, but maybe you just need to know that, for now, to ache is enough.
Because to ache is to feel, to know, and to long for something beyond the dark. And sometimes, that is enough. For now, that is enough, because the light is coming.