Of Advent, Poetry & The Blacklist

It will happen that I get impressions of ideas and randomized thoughts shooting through my head at the oddest hours of the night. The most recent occurrence was earlier this morning – around 4 am. Wrapped in my bed covers and the inky darkness all around, I realized I had just dreamt of The Blacklist. Having viewed an episode of the same mere hours before, it didn’t surprise me that I had been so impressionable as to have a dream of it.

I will assume you all have some familiarity with the show. If not, its byzantine plot structure, often witty dialogue, and even its level of violence provide for a potpourri of entertainment not often seen on TV. The episode, itself, is not important here; for the sake of this post, I’ll tell you we are at the beginning of the 3rd season. What presented itself to me this morning was what the character of Reddington (played by James Spader with his usual grandiose charm) said to Elizabeth Keene (Megan Boone), FBI agent and Reddington’s counterweight for the show. As the duo were emerging from a shipping container, opened to the night sky as the ship they were on was out to sea, he says to her, “You know, Lizzy, Odysseus fought many battles, but he fought the hardest just to get home” (my paraphrase). And then, this: “You’re my way home Lizzie.” I woke my wife and shared that with her. Yes, I have obviously lived to tell about it. But I added, “That’s the genius of this show; it’s poetry woven through the exchanges between Red and Lizzie, all the while, circuitous events are happening all around them, fugitives are sought, lives are lost, some are saved. Or something like that.

The good, beautiful and true often go hand in hand, side by side with grotesque manifestations of evil or simply plain stupidity. I’m waiting in the dark of Advent for an arrival that has already happened once, historically. But because it’s the Eternal God who reposed in that manger, that event is also drenched with eternity. It’s all new once again. It’s the wheat and tares (weeds), growing as surely as the sun is in the sky and the night is black. And a virgin Mother’s womb was the landing platform, once upon a time. Today, your soul and mine are the wombs. The kind of poetry we write with our lives will largely depend upon where our faith is placed. And it’s a fight – this life; the plot is often labyrinthine, and we all need a lodestar, a guide. I’m counting on Mary; she’ll lead me to Jesus every time. She’ll bring me to the home who is Christ. How about you? What are you waiting for?

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