The early church community was advised to keep watch and wait in the Gospel of Luke. I read that scripture, which is the assigned reading in the Epsicopal church this week, while I was visiting a section of Botswana that looks like a sea of rippling tin. Houses made of corrugated tin and cast off construction supplies line dirt paths. These boxes house almost 20,000 people including illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe people struggling with illness and fighting to survive on a daily basis. It was the first time in a long time that I actuallygot mad at a reading. Who can just watch and waitwhile the world looks like its crumbling around you? It has taken me another week of reflection and reading to understand the advice offered in the reading and take it to heart. Watch is great advice for anyone who wants to love the world. It's hard to walk around blind to the pain of others and turn away from anything that smells bad or looks unpleasant if you want to love. We need to pay attention and watch. Watch out for the moments we feel led to act, watch out for the feeling that we are being called, watch out for the beauty of the spirit of God filling the space.
Wait is great advice too. Wait just means that we know something else is coming. It doesn’t mean that we sit around and do nothing. We wait like we wait for the birth of a baby. We prepare for the arrival and have parties and make a home and announce the good news to as many people as we know. We are waiting for fruition of our journey and what comes after that. That is both on an individual and universal level.
Now I want to go back. I want to go back to Africa and be able to watch and wait in that same space where I was standing and thinking that I couldn’t watch and wait. I want to go back to that ground and pay very close attention.