Readers Write: Scattered
December 12, 2019
We asked readers to submit brief reflections on words associated with Advent. Below is a response on the word “scattered.”
by Jennifer Schneider
When did it begin? How did it happen? Slowly, over time, our lives have been turned upside down. As Christmas 2005 approaches, we prepare for the homecoming of our eldest. He hasn’t walked through the front door in almost three months. It is a short stay, and all of us both anticipate and dread his visit.
Over the last year, it seems our feet have been moving, and we have continued to go through the everyday motions of life, but we haven’t been going anywhere. His dad and I have tried everything we could think of to reach him, to help him. This latest attempt meant sending him away, looking to others for help.
Nothing is where it should be. Our family is separated not only by miles but by actions, thoughts, priorities and desires. It feels as if he is saying the right things, but his heart hasn’t changed.
Still our days are empty—empty of resources, empty of joy, empty of peace. We have had to tell our younger children that Christmas will be simple this year. This new place for our son is expensive. Money is tight.
Advent is a time of waiting—a time of preparation. As we anticipate Christ coming to us again this Christmas, we feel even farther away from God. I’m lost, looking for something to hold on to. It’s like trying to catch water in my hands. It just slips through my fingers, falling to the ground, slowly seeping into the earth. I am scattered.
Even so, my prayer this Advent is that God will piece together the bits of my life and create a gift worthy enough for the Christ Child.
Jennifer Schneider is associate executive minister of American Baptist Churches of the Central Region.