Sunday, December 22, 2013

Advent and the Von Trapps

{via Jennifer Upton}
I cry every time I watch The Sound of Music. I've seen the film about thirty times, the stage production about seven times. and yet, the tears come every time. 

it's that moment when the Captain looks into a crowd full of his countrymen and softly sings the song of his people, the anthem of the country he loves so very much. there is so much story behind his eyes, a tale that the rest of the faces looking up at him and his wife and his children do not know. but they feel that same thing that he does. we all do. 

and I can't help but compare that moment to this season, to these final moments of Advent. I cannot help but take that moment and hold it against the fabric of this silent night that we are pressed deeply within right now. 

we are steeped deep within this season, our entire selves wrapped up in this time whether we want to be or not. it's unavoidable. there is a holy clamouring that comes right alongside the hushing and the softly flickering candles. 

there's a volume to this season, and it's more than just the screeching of the shopping centers. it's more than the cries of the ones who insist we are victims in a war against us, raising their voices so high against the "happy holidays" greeting that they're drowning Him out. 

it's that moment when you realize that even in silence, there is a noise. it's not about pressing the world out, locking our doors and demanding peace on earth at the top of our lungs. it's realizing that even on that stage, with the music and the song and the clapping of a thousand Austrians, it was most likely the most roaring silent moment of Captain Von Trapp's life. 

{photo by Jennifer Upton}
he was soon to wander. he was soon to take his seven children and his bride over the mountains on foot to escape the hands that sought to drag him beneath the darkest waters that he had ever encountered. but there he stood, fingers strumming the guitar held in skillful fingers. and he sang, may you bloom and grow forever....bless my homeland forever. 

and that is this season, taken from words with no holy intent, but summed up so perfectly. because we are reaching inward toward come thou long expected Jesus. we are welcoming in silence He who brought a wild noise. we are pressing knees against straw-strewn floors as we reach out, whispering, toward the infant I AM. 

but He is the one who was born a radical, with thinking so far outside the box of the words being spoken from the temples of His day. there was wildness in Him, a strange sort of peaceful ruckus. 

He is soon to wander. He is soon to place human feet on the ground sculpted by He-Who-Sees. He is soon to face the darkness of a Father's back turned as the sin of all the world and time fell upon His shoulders. He is soon to rise with cracking and shaking and thunder. 

this is the time of wild, loud, keening peace on earth. 

at the sound of His roar, 
sorrows shall be no more. 


  1. we watched the musical the other son fell in love with it...he's watched it twice since...the noise in the silence...this is the moment of waiting promise ready to burst forth...smiles. have a very merry christmas....

  2. The first movie I ever saw in a theater...simply wonderful :) Singing songs of Christmas while we wait for the Lion's roar and return!

  3. Wild, loud, keening peace. Yes! Hope you had a Merry Christmas, Rachel.

  4. "Wild, loud, keening peace on earth." Wow, have a way with words. Visiting via a mutual friend, Ms. Mia.


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon