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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

There's a Bobcat in the Dark

There is a bobcat in our neighborhood.  She’s a brazen one.  She devoured a wild rabbit right in front of our neighbor -- unapologetically and without fear.  This is not good news for our three little dogs.

We’ve been making supervised “deck visits”, so that they can “take care of things” without any risk of being kitty chow.  I stood out there tonight in the cold and dark, waiting.  The stars are bright tonight – a million strong, studding a pitch sky.  I glanced out into the forest and had memories of tales of Hansel and Gretel and big bad wolves.  Funny, I’m very much at home in the forest.  These things usually don’t concern me.  We’ve plenty of bears, but they generally keep their distance.  When they do make their way onto a deck, it is generally for bird seed or a bowl of dog food.  It’s not so much our dogs that a bear is interested in eating – but, a bobcat, well, that is different.  A bobcat, especially one as large as this one, can hop over the deck rail from the forest floor below, grab a four-legged family member, and be gone in a flash.  I find myself staring out into the dark, alert to movement among the pines, and waiting for light to come.

The other day, someone mentioned to me that she really cannot get “into” Advent.  “I don’t really understand the expectation that all of you feel for something that has already happened.  The whole church year, re-living things that have happened in the past; I don’t understand it.”

It’s a reasonable question, I suppose.
I’ve been thinking about it – what she said -- ever since.  

Tonight, as I stood on the deck with our tiny dogs, alert for bobcats and more aware of the dark forest than usual, I realized something:  Advent isn’t really about the light, it’s about the darkness.  Christmas is about the coming of the light; Advent is about remembering the terrifying dark that necessitated the light’s coming.  We need that; we need to remember.

It’s awfully easy to get cozy with our salvation. Maybe you don’t, but I sometimes forget what things would be like without it.  I sometimes forget the price at which it was purchased, too.  Advent is about remembering.  It is about reliving the anticipation, the fear, the hope – that would have been.  It is about knowing the fear of bobcats in the night when familiar pines are shrouded in pitch and there are loved ones to hope safety for.  It’s about knowing the light will come,  and appreciating the value of a Babe in a manger and knowing He’s more than a cute platitude when he arrives.  It is about grasping in desperate joy for a Savior when God becomes man so that man might live, because we have seen dark and tasted fear and know the light is priceless.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel.  We need you now, more than ever.

Linked with the blogs on the Blog Hops page.


  1. I love your way with words!

    Advent blessings~

    1. Thank you! I've been enjoying your posts in the link-up. Advent blessings to you as well. :)


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