It seems like I’ve been doing a lot of watching and waiting over the past few months. Watching and waiting for dear, dear friends to return to their loving God…. for April the giraffe to bring her beautiful little (yes, 129 pounds is little in the giraffe world!) son into the world ….for Lent to be over and Easter to arrive. I’ve even spent some time waiting for paint to dry… on some gorgeous alcohol ink Easter eggs. Watching and waiting …. very much like Mary Magdalene did before the Resurrection.
These opportunities to watch and wait have given me a chance to reflect on the idea of kenosis… emptying our own will so that we can receive God’s divine will. We know that Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness” and that he “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death.” (Philippians 2: 6-8) St. Paul reminds us to take on that same attitude. So we empty our expectations of time… like how long it takes for paint to dry. We empty our expectations of effort… like how much work it takes for a giraffe to have a baby. We empty our expectations of control… like how little we can control the loss of a loved one. We empty our expectations of our own importance and, like Jesus, humble ourselves.
These watching and waiting opportunities have also reminded me of the need for more contemplative time. Time to gently let my thoughts go. to slow down and empty the myriad of thoughts in my crowded brain. When I’m faithful to my meditation, I find that I’m more patient… more calm…. more open…. more accepting.
Easter season is a good time to celebrate and continue our kenosis- our watching and waiting. We remember that after the dying, even dying on a cross, came the Resurrection. We know our friends are in God’s loving embrace. We applaud that an adorable little giraffe is standing on his own. We enjoy brilliantly colored eggs. With just a month until Pentecost, I hope you’ll join me as I continue my kenosis so that we can be ready to receive the Holy Spirit and open to allow our generous God to fill us with love.