There have been so many words.

Words of grace.

Words of hope.

Words of condemnation.

Words of blame.

Powerful words.

Forgettable words.

Senseless words.

The most meaningful part for me of our church service last Sunday was an instrumental piano piece played by a very talented young man.

There were no words.

No attempt to describe the indescribable.

No attempt at convincing us how to feel or how to respond.

No rhetoric meant to castigate or shame or justify.

This blog was falling silent before the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

The brutal longing of Advent, the hunger for an Immanuel still hidden, seemed too much for words this year. Which doesn’t sound like something a writer should admit to. Yet in the end, even the Word delivered His final message with a drastic action unadorned with long speeches.

It’s been in actions reflecting His that I’ve glimpsed the much-anticipated Savior this year.

In the young man sleeping outside to protect a homeless woman.

In tributes to women of valor stepping outside their comfort zone to reach out to those around them.

In stories of hope coming from tragedy.

In Jesus’ refusal to defend truth, but live it instead.

When we read The Children at the Gate by Edward Lewis Wallant in my college literature course, I hated it. Hated it until the professor took us through the story, illuminating the themes. Illuminating how the drastic actions of one character shook a frozen young man back to life, back to caring, back to feeling.

Drastic actions like God becoming a baby.

Drastic actions like a poor family being chosen to deliver the focal-point of history.

Drastic actions like shepherds leaving their livelihoods and astrologers their homelands all in search of a child born amid scandal.

Actions can jolt us to horror – but they can also jolt us to awe. We stand in wonder at actions that give us back a little caring, a little feeling, little bits of life.

Sometimes, I think, it’s best to just shut off the words and find a way to reflect His drastic actions in our own.

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