the austere blessedness of waiting

Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.

Whoever does not know how the austere blessedness of waiting–that is, of hopefully doing without–will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.

In a prison letter from Dietrich Bonhoeffer to his fiancée, Maria von Wedemeyer, December 13, 1943. (From page 4 of God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas from the writings of Bonhoeffer, translated by O.C. Dean Jr. and edited by Jana Riess.)

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