Advent Romantic

Most people have no idea I’m a Romantic, in the classical sense (irony intended) but I’m just flat hopeless. I believe in Great Love, High Adventure, Noble Causes and Glorious Death! I’m right there with Thoreau wanting to suck the marrow out of life. Like Gatsby I have “a heightened sensitivity to the promise of life,” a promise that is never fulfilled, at least not this side of paradise, but I still keep expecting to see it, watching for it, waiting, only to be disappointed again and again.

It makes me mad. Unfortunately, I am often an angry person. It’s something I’ve been struggling to change for a long time, and in the struggle over the years I have come to see that often my anger derives from disappointment, disappointment that the promise is broken, but not by He who gave it, but sadly by those who received it.

I want to scream at the world: “Wake up! Can’t you see that this isn’t all there is, that this can’t begin to compare with what can be, what should be and what will be! Why do you drink your own urine and call it ambrosia when there’s Living Water for the asking!”

In The Great Gatsby, Daisy is corrupt at her core. Like her namesake, she is white on the outside, creating an expectation of purity, but her core is yellow, like gold, the love of which is the root of all evil, and she is corrupt, rich beyond avarice, but morally bankrupt. And so the world, too, is broken and corrupt, and I should have no expectation that it is otherwise, but , but, I also know that “There is hope for [our] future,” that He will “turn [our] mourning into joy; [He] will comfort [us], and give [us] gladness for sorrow.”

And so I watch and wait, each time hoping to see just a glimmer of what may be because one day it shall be. It’s rare and fleeting, but it’s there for those with eyes to see. When you see it you despair because in His grace He sometimes allows us to see what could have been had we but not turned away from paradise to gaze back on Sodom. Oh, but when we see it we also rejoice because in His grace He gives us the hope, the certainty of knowing, that one day the glass will no longer be dim, and what we only glimpse occasionally now we will one day gaze on eternally.

And so it’s not wrong to watch for those glimpses of the Gospel, those “patches of Godlight” we sometimes see as we walk “in a gloomy wood, astray gone from the direct path.” Each and every glimpse of Godlight we get is worth a thousand shadowy disappointments.

What does it say about my character? It says I’m a broken human, and it says I’m a hoping saint. It says I’m a Advent Romantic, and I say come on in, the water’s fine.

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