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by Christina Honchell

I’m blue.

Melancholy blue. You Want it Darker blue. Born under a Bad Sign blue. Subterranean Homesick blue. What the hell just happened on November 8 blue. Advent Blue.

Also … azure skies blue. Pacific horizon blue. Midnight inky sky with twinkling stars blue. My husband’s eyes blue. Great Blue Heron blue. Guadalupe’s robes blue. Advent blue.

I know I’m not the only one counting down the days till we kiss 2016 goodbye, but I am as ready to give this one the boot as I’ve ever been. As the days count down, I face my first Christmas ever without my mother. I face many months of oral surgeries and dental procedures as a result of a bad fall I took six weeks ago. I am having end of the world nightmares, the kind I thought were over when the bomb shelter drills of my childhood ended. I confess that I’m comfortable in melancholy, that I find solace and wisdom in sadness, that I much prefer the blues to the cheerier alternative, but I am so blue, so ready to turn the page …

And yet, here is Advent. An invitation to enter all of that blue, the sorrow and joy, pain and hope. To go deep: deep into mystery and deep into groundlessness. To wait, to linger a while and feel all of the blues. To breathe, to take in, to feel with every cell of my being the pain and the beauty of the universe.

Advent has always been my favorite season – I like the waiting much more than the messiness of God crashing into our time and space as a baby. Dan Horan, our Franciscan friend, gave me a frame for Christmas that has changed everything for me, courtesy of Thomas Merton. Merton’s take on the Incarnation as described by Horan: “the Incarnation, God’s own descent into the world to live as a human person, was part of the plan for creation from the beginning.” Not to take away our sin. Not as payment. But inevitable, because of God’s love for all of creation. God loves us so much, the people and the birds and the trees and the stars and the oceans and creatures great and small, loves us so much that God wants to be with us, to touch us, to walk with us, to cry with us in these days of sorrow. It’s a love story as big as the deep blue universe.

My offering to you today is The Blue Hour – one of the daily meditations from Nature365.tv that I start my prayer with every morning. Join me in this blue space and time for a minute, for an Advent moment. To breathe in the blue of peace so that we can be strong for the work of the days ahead.

Christina Honchell is the Parish Administrator at All Saints Church in Pasadena.