What makes our Love visible? Last week, three friends showed me a way. I was pushing my luggage cart through the Arrivals hall at Vancouver International Airport when I spotted them. My friend Melaney, a Musqueam First Nations woman and my friends Shaley and Kathleen stood in the crowd. Firecrackers, each one of them.
They stood there, welcoming me back from a week in Israel and Palestine where I leaned into the capacity of women to be everyday peacemakers in our world.
They had left warm living rooms to come and stand and be a welcome on a rainy and dreary Monday night. These women were making their love visible.
But that was not all. When Melaney caught my eye, she started singing a First Nations Welcome song. Her voice rang through the whole arrivals hall. People watched. I pushed my trolley through the curious faces. Her voice welcomed me home, her heart rang out to meet mine.
Her words and her voice ushered in my arrival. I felt seen and welcomed and loved. They created a welcome I will likely never forget. These women made Love visible.
At this time of year, we long for another arrival. We anticipate and decorate and prepare our hearts for the coming of a King, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. It is like we are all standing in that Arrivals hall, waiting for King Jesus to make his appearance.
Come, Lord Jesus, come, we say.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
We light candles and belt out Christmas music and as our voices rise in unison, we long to sing our Savior home.
O, come now, Lord Jesus. Come.
We need you in this chaos. We need you in the busyness. We need you in the uncertainty. We need you in the now.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
But there is another trip to the Arrivals hall I want to make this Advent. There is another reason I want to get out from under my blankets and set out into the rain and through the dreary night. I long for Justice to arrive.
I long for justice to roll down like a river, from here to the ends of the earth. I long for Justice to meet us and for justice to settle into our communities, into our broken systems, into our divided nations and into our fragmented world. I long for Justice to come.
Cornel West reminds us, Justice is what Love looks like in public.
I long for this Love that is also justice to be made visible on our streets and made visible in our court rooms. I long for this Love that is also Justice to become visible in toilets in townships and for women on long deserted highways. I long for Love to be made visible through the protection of the most vulnerable, for children working when they should be playing and for mothers who long for a better world for their children. I long for this Love that is also justice to prevent violence and abuse and slavery. I long for this Love that is also justice to be the biggest, boldest welcome to the outsider, the excluded, the immigrant, the refugee, the lonely, the forgotten.
I long for this Love to delve so deeply into our hearts that we will refuse to settle for a love that looks any less than justice. This is the kind of Love that has teeth. This is the kind of Love that leaves the warmth of our homes and our comfortable circles and our already laid-out plans to be inconvenienced. This is the kind of Love that leaves heaven and is birthed into Bethlehem. This is the kind of Love that enters fully into our world. This is the kind of Love that is made visible.
In the Arrivals hall, we wait.
In the Arrivals hall, we hope.
In the Arrivals hall, we know what we’ve been waiting for is coming.
Idelette is founder and Editor-in-Chief of SheLovesmagazine.com. She’s a writer, immigrant, mother of three and a restaurant wife. She loves Jesus, justice and living juicy.
Idelette is an Afrikaner woman, born and raised in South Africa during the Apartheid years. That story has both wrecked her and shaped a deep longing in her heart for a more free and equal world, alongside a humble passion for racial reconciliation. Her life journey took her to Taiwan where she drove a purple scooter, wrote for a daily newspaper and found Jesus around a table of women. In 1999, she moved to Canada and now home truly is the world.
Join us in waiting and praying this Advent season. The prayer of Waiting and Longing is a great resource created by theologian Walter Brueggemann from his book "Prayers for a Privileged People". We've provided you with a free pdf copy to guide you in your times of prayer and reflection.