Several weeks ago, I got the joyous news from my son Jonny and his wife Emily that they were expecting a baby. They had been trying for a while, so they were very excited, and I was excited with them. Not long after, Jonny called, and the tone in his voice intimated the bad news: Emily had a miscarriage.
Recently, Emily “opened up” about the whole experience in an article that she wrote. As I read, with tears in my eyes, her transparently honest account of her feelings during and after her brief pregnancy, and thought of other friends who long for a child, I reflected on how the whole experience captures many of the desires and longings that are at the heart of Advent. (Since many persons can relate to this, I’ve attached Emily’s article below if you’d like to read it).
Indeed, barren wombs and miscarriages are vivid reminders that we live in a broken world, a world that still needs healing, a world where the last enemy has not yet been fully conquered. It is a world that longs for the coming of a baby. One of the verses of my favorite Advent hymn expresses the longing this way:
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.