Last summer, as a gift, I received a devotional book titled I Want to Live These Days with You. It is a year's worth of short excerpts from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian of the twentieth century who was imprisoned and executed for his part in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
I thought today's writing was excellent, and I want to share it with you:
Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them. Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting--that is, of hopefully doing without--will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.
Those who do not know how it feels to anxiously struggle with the deepest questions of life, of their life, and to patiently look forward with anticipation until the truth is revealed, cannot even dream of the splendor of the moment in which clarity is illuminated for them. And for those who do not want to win the friendship and love of another person--who do not expectantly open up their soul to the soul of the other person, until friendship and love come, until they make their entrance--for such people the deepest blessing of the one life of two intertwined souls will remain forever hidden.
For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens here not in a storm but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing, and becoming.