Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

My Photo
Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent-Christmas Letter 2008- Obama

Advent is the season for waiting for the coming of Jesus at Christmas and anticipating the kingdom of God, when justice and peace will reign in the world. This year many of us are waiting for the coming of Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. The feelings of relief, joy, and hope rise above the many crises facing our country and world. Solving the problems is not the issue. The sense of honor, cooperation, creativity and intelligence generates the power to support the president and his advisors in facing the crises.

As a teacher, Ann taught her students by giving them strategies and waiting for them to figure things out for themselves, rather than her telling them the right answers. She let them figure out if Hamlet was just a depressed and confused hero or perhaps a cruel murderer.

A good therapist helps patients tell the truth about their past memories and behavior and then waits for the patients to discover how to heal themselves.

The debacle in Iraq teaches leaders and diplomats to wait and discover who the people are and what they want before they start killing the people they want to convert to democracy. Humanitarians want to relieve the pain and suffering young women face undergoing a clitorectomy. The same humanitarians had best wait and see what might happen to women outcast, hungry and homeless from their tribes and community because they have been spared that rite. Part of waiting is living in ambiguity.

We did a lot of waiting this year, too. The big one was for the election and its joyous outcome for us and for the country. A man of my vintage sits in the waiting rooms of various medicine men and women, giving him lots of time to reflect on the human condition. Ann can’t wait to get to the next class she attends – Cuban Movies, Women as Gods, Hebrew Bible and Spanish. Waiting in airport lounges annoyed us on our trips to Palm Springs in January, New York and New England in April, and to Salt Lake City in July.

The Christian theme of waiting and anticipation reminds us of the journey of faith. I, Robert, have little patience with much of religion and church life. I am more committed than ever to Jesus the Revolutionary. You know, the old stuff, like seeking peace and justice, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, focusing on the poor, jabbing the powerful and holding the foolish accountable. You can see there is a lot of waiting for all that to happen. I do go to church and enjoy the people, the music and the Eucharist. I am invited to preach four times a year, which is better than forty when I was a parish priest. Ann joins me at church and in much of what I call my thinking.

We hope you have a thoughtful Advent and Blessed Christmas.

Ann and Robert


Blogger Fred and Billie Fenton said...

That is simply the best Advent and Christmas letter I ever read, and I have read a lot of them. You are wise and wonderful. I would love to see it as an Op-Ed piece in the Chronicle.

Fred Fenton

9:48 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home