Isn’t That Just Like God?

To hear my blog post read aloud, just click the play button. If you’re reading this in an email, you may have to click here to hear the post on my site.


There is darkness in our world this Christmas.
The news is currently full of war in Syria, a persecuted church in China, scandal at home.
There is, to be awkwardly transparent, darkness in my own self this Christmas.
be still
This has been a difficult year, full of the sorts of occurrences that God often uses to sanctify.
Medical troubles.
Bills resulting from the above.
Sanctification hurts.
As I sit in the darkness, in the stillness, in the waiting that is Advent,
sometimes I don’t want to be sanctified.
Sometimes I desire comfort and more than enough more than I desire to look like Jesus.
When we give our lives to God, He takes us at our word.
All that God desires for us comes steadily on, even when we sometimes would simply rather be left alone.
We think we know what we want.
We think we know what we need.
We think we know what to do to get it.
Especially at Christmas, we think that if we don’t do it, if we settle into the waiting and be still, it won’t get done, whatever it is.
advent waiting
Then God comes down into our darkness and asks us to see ourselves as we truly are:
empty-handed, powerless, dependent on One who refuses to leave us to our own devices.
This is often the way God loves us: with gifts we thought we didn’t need, which transform us into people we don’t necessarily want to be. ~ William Willimon
All of creation groans for redemption.
We are a people walking in darkness,
a people living in a land of great darkness.
we need a light
We are desperate for light, desperate for rescue, and God, in His great mercy, gives us


a baby.
We need a baby
Isn’t that just like God?

All photos copyright Made Sacred 2018

The Darkness of Advent

The final paper for my current master’s class was due this week, so I pray that this post from the archives blesses you. Thank you for your grace.

To hear my blog post read aloud, just click the play button. If you’re reading this in an email, you may have to click here to hear the post on my site.


Christmas begins in the dark.
Advent, this season leading up to Christmas, is for us. It is for we who live in the dark.
This season seems to amplify pain. Those who are lonely feel more lonely, those who are grieving feel their grief more deeply, those who are hurting seem to suffer more.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay not to feel happy this time of year.
After all, Christmas doesn’t mean much if we don’t need it.
Mary understood. Her angel visitation led to a rift between her and her beloved, a painful journey on a donkey, and giving birth next to a chicken.
Even as she clutched her newborn son, she heard the prophecy of a sword piercing her heart and wondered.
Even after her Christmas, her beloved son grew farther and farther away from her, uttering such things as Why would you look for me? Don’t you know I must be about my Father’s business? and, when she came through the crowds to see him, My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.
Yet Mary stayed close. She trusted and held on to her faith in her son no matter how distant he seemed, even when he died. She stayed close. Everywhere we look in the gospels we see Mary, hovering on the outskirts, still showing up, still coming back to her son again and again.
Stay Close
Can we do the same?
Can we hold on to our faith in the Son no matter how distant He seems, even if He seems to be dead?
This world is dark and we live in a continual Advent.
Don’t run away from the bitter-sweetness of this Advent season. You don’t have to pretend to feel joyful.
Don’t hide behind the tinsel and lights. Neither should you ignore the colors completely.
Linger as you abide with the sorrow and the joy, the hurt and the hope that are woven together in this season. Stay close to the Son however far away He may seem.
Settle into the knowing of how desperately we need Christmas, how desperately we need God-with-us.
Our Father promised that Christmas would come
and it came.
Our Father promises that He will come again
and it will be all the more beautiful for having lived through the darkness of Advent.

Art credit: Pieta by Michelangelo; all other photographs copyrighted by Elizabeth Giger

Waiting in the Dark

To hear my blog post read aloud, just click the play button. If you’re reading this in an email, you may have to click here to hear the post on my site.


We are all waiting in the dark.
Waiting for results,
Waiting for change,
Waiting for healing.
Waiting for
We often believe that we are waiting in the light.
We deceive ourselves into believing that we are not truly waiting at all.
Yet if we will simply be still in the dark,
if we will stop distracting ourselves with stark light,
if we will stop blinding ourselves with hollow sparkle,
there is a hope that whispers.
This hope whispers that all of your waiting is pregnant with promise.
This hope arrived once before.
This hope arrived silently, in the dark.
This hope will come once again.
This hope will come in a blaze of holy light, banishing the darkness forever.
And in this in-between time,
in this already-and-not-yet time,
keep waiting.
Keep waiting with confidence.
Keep waiting with action.
Keep waiting with watchfulness.
Keep waiting with joy.

all photographs copyright Made Sacred 2018