Standing at the kitchen window she looked out over the open land and dormant hay field to the wooded hills beyond. It was a foggy morning with the feel of winter wrapping the land. Watching the woods she thought of all the hunters over the last few weeks harvesting meat for their families from the deer population.
Recognizing the necessity of hunting, yet loving watching wildlife she wondered why she had never seen deer in this area. Perhaps it was too close to the populated area. Perhaps people's dogs kept them away. Yet she wished for just one deer to walk through the edge of the woods.
Going about her morning chores in the kitchen, she occasionally glances out the window again. In one of her many trips to work at the sink, movement caught her eye. Pausing in her tasks, she saw a beautiful doe leaping . . . running . . . playing in the hay field. She was beautiful--about four years old--dancing her way out of the woods and through the field.
The doe frolicked her way across the area and towards her house. Stopping at the edge of the field, she paused at the gravel road and gazed around. The women held her breathe as the doe carefully stepped across and ran through her back yard almost straight up to her house.
Rushing from the kitchen to the front of the house she stepped out onto the porch and moved to the north side of the house. Watching quietly, she saw the doe come up over the hill, slow, and pause between the home and the church beside it. Standing under a majestic tree, she paused and looked at the woman.
It was a reverent moment--a moment of peace and awe. A moment when in the midst of all the hurry, the work, and preparations for the day, hope again filled her heart. Glancing again at the woman, the doe turned, ran down the hill, through the pasture and returned to the woods.
God had heard her desire . . . her prayer. She had needed a sense of connection to God; a sense of hope that even in the midst of chaos and killing, that life went on. Indeed it did. The news of yet another mass shooting, illness, death, terrorist acts could not smother the hope God had kindled in her heart.
This is the season of Advent, of preparation for the remembrance of God with us. Too often it is a season of indulgence and over spending. Our world seems to be spinning out of control. Yet, hope remains in our hearts. God hears us cry out. God is with us. With God, there is hope.
Eternal One, in this season of Advent as we see horrible things happen all around us, help us not to despair. You are our hope. Help us to nurture the seed of hope deep within us. So be it. Amen.