Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Waiting in the dark--Spiritual Journey Thursday


I'm hosting this month's Spiritual Journey Thursday.

Inspired by Henri Nouwen, I chose the theme of waiting.

"To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life.  ...The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction.  That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control."

--Nouwen, "A Spirituality of Waiting", 1993.


Lady of the Sea statue, Anacortes, WA

Sit with me, and wait.

Wait in the darkness, 
lingering in the mornings, 
stealing our afternoons.

Sit with me, and wait.

Wait as we wrap gifts
Sing to beckon redemption
Light candles to illuminate the night.

Sit with me, and wait.

Wait as the Mother 
pregnant with Hope
content in knowing it will arrive.

Sit with me, and wait.

--Christine Margocs, 2021

"There is not enough night left for us.  We have lost our true instincts for darkness, its invitation to spend some time in the proximity of our dreams.  Our personal winters are so often accompanied by insomnia: perhaps we're drawn towards that unique space of intimacy and contemplation, darkness and silence, without really knowing what we're seeking.  Perhaps, after all, we are being urged towards our own comfort.
...Over and again, we find that winter offers us liminal spaces to inhabit.  Yet still we refuse them.  The work of the cold season is to learn to welcome them."
--Katherine May, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, 2020.

I awaken long before dawn.
Night-black windows 
guard against the intrusion 
of the day's demands.
My movements are slow, 
shuffling down the hall,
remnants of dreams like spiderwebs in my hair
I treasure this time
when I can be me
beyond wife, mother, worker
When those dreams are more real
than the unseen world outside.

--Christine Margocs, 2021


And so we wait. We wait for the cookies to bake, the packages to arrive, the family to gather.  We wait for the longest night and the lengthening days beyond.  We wait for stuffed stockings and phone calls from home.  We wait, knowing that things will get better, because we have been given the Promise in Love's form, bringing Light to the darkness of Winter and weariness of Soul.

We wait in Hope.
 Thank you for taking this Spiritual Journey with me this December!


  1. I love what you've written here. I have been reading Nouwen lately on that same theme, and his idea of waiting open-endedly, without being stuck on particular expectations of how things will turn out. It's hard to do, but so good. I think I'd like Katherine May, too! Here's my post for this month:

    1. Thank you, Ruth, for your acknowledgement and enhancement of the theme. I am adding more of Nouwen to my reading list, too!

  2. Thank you, Chris, for this post. It connects with me on many fronts, from the waiting to the dreaming to the darkness. So much to explore. Thanks for hosting. Find my post at

    1. Karen, I'm glad my prompt was fertile ground for writing for you! May this Advent be a season of waiting in Hope for all of us.

  3. Absolutely beautiful in every way, Chris - your poems of hope much like that lantern held high by the Lady of the Sea. I love Wintering - which I obtained and read on your recommendation. We all need this reminder of how much we need the dark, the night, the season of rest. Reminds me of another book, At Day's Close: Night in Times Past. Much to say about the days before electricity when people blew out lanterns and the dark was truly dark - and people slept more. Rest was deeper. Rejuvenation greater.

    I especially love these lines of yours: "When those dreams are more real
    than the unseen world outside" - they speak to my writer-soul. Thank you for sharing your heart and faith, and for hosting today!

    My link:

    1. Thank you for joining me in the dark to wait and hope, Fran--and for yet another book to add to my reading pile.

  4. I love both of your waiting poems. They give me that sense of peace that I seek in prayer. Thanks for hosting with such a wonderful topic:

  5. I love your poems and the quotes you shared with us. And these words you shared in closing: "We wait, knowing that things will get better, because we have been given the Promise in Love's form, bringing Light to the darkness of Winter and weariness of Soul."
    Thanks for this wonderful prompt.

    1. Here's my link:

  6. Chris, I thank you for the topic you brought to us. Your thoughts are so beautifully crafted here in your post, especially this one: "we wait, trusting that new things will happen to us:, What joy lies in this statement Nouwen made. The repetition of "sit with me and wait" allows me to delve into the quiet action of waiting.I also love the second poem, Night-black windows/guard against the intrusion/of the day's demands. Rest is key. I think I do not get enough rest. I need to linger in darkness not allowing the busyness of each day to steal my time to wait.Have a blessed day. My post can be found at

  7. Hello Christine,
    First, thank you for this beautiful topic. I was frustrated that I didn't seem to be able to find words for a post...and then I just waited for them to come. It took weeks. But, on Christmas Eve, I have a Lullaby for Waiting. I'm posting it for Poetry Friday on 12/24. It seems right that I had to wait on time for the right words. Thanks again.