Waiting for the Paint to Dry
Rev. Joy Mounts, Associate Minister
I recently started an Intro to Watercolor Painting class, and I am enjoying it very much now. I say now, because in the beginning, I was not so sure about the whole thing. Watercolor is quite a different medium than I have worked with before. Plus, I have not painted at all in quite a while, instead doing sculpture for the past nine years or so.
In watercolor you build layers of texture and shadow. You get the paper incredibly wet and then lay down the paint before it dries, or you paint one part of the picture using more and more water to pull the paint from dark to light. What you do a great deal of the time is wait for the paint to dry before you can move on. Sometimes there is a handy hair dryer to use but mostly not. Sometimes it dries a lot faster than you want it to. I have found the class to be fun, relaxing, frustrating and taxing of my patience.
A lot like Advent. A time for waiting. A time to prepare, which means work and bustling around to get everything just so. A time for relaxing with family. A time that can be filled with much frustration. A time to remind us that something is coming - a promise, hope, God’s love Incarnate, peace.
Waiting can be so difficult and fulfilling all at the same time. We want things to happen when we want them to. In watercolor if you try to rush the process all you end up with is a mess and a muddy picture. Likewise, rushing the Advent season can leave us exhausted before we even get halfway through the month, or make us want to throw up our hands and say “Enough!” Either way, we are not taking advantage of the time that this gift of waiting is giving us. Time to wonder. Time to reflect. Time to see past all of the decorations and distractions to the celebration at the heart of it all – the coming of the Gift of Gifts.
So this Advent, instead of saying, “I have to wait?!”, let us say, “I will wait with gladness and embrace the gift.” And see it for the gift it is. Even if it is only waiting for the paint to dry.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Advent and a blessed Christmas!