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An Advent Message of Hope

I recently read a story that captured my imagination and emotions. I thought I would share it with you here as an advent message of faith, hope and love.

Two twenty-one-year-old art students were living the dream in a loft in Brooklyn, studying art and basking in the glow of young love. They’d met at a party only nine months before, and had what is only described as, “a moment.” The moment was more than just a thing, it was the thing.

One day on her way to class, Emilie was involved in a traffic accident—she was on her bike and hit by a huge truck. She was then in ICU, clinging to life. Alan called Emilie’s parents to hurry to the city, where all three of them kept vigil around Emilie’s bed, her parents splitting the daytime hours and Alan staying every night, all night long.

For weeks they waited for her to recover, with few signs of hope. Finally, the doctors deemed Emilie medically stable but completely unresponsive. Her parents began to make arrangements to move her to a nursing home in their hometown, where she would likely live the rest of her life.

But Alan thought there was hope—in the middle of what seemed to be complete desolation. He insisted, “She’s in there; she just can’t get out.”  “You have to give her a chance, you have to give her a chance,” he begged. Alan remembered reading something in a Helen Keller biography. In a desperate attempt to prove to her parents and the doctors that she could recover, he traced out on her arm the words “I love you.” She immediately awoke and responded.

The birth of Jesus Christ is God writing on the arm of desolate humankind “I love you!”  May we all awake to the faith of this hope.

Merry Christmas


Posted by Tobin Wilson with
in Advent

Eagle or Chicken?

Have you ever tried to think about what the word spirituality means? Take a few moments to think about it while I tell you a story. This story is originally found in Tony de Mello’s book Song of the Bird. 

A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen.  The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.

All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.

The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who’s that?” He asked.

“That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth—we’re chickens.” So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.

Interesting story—an eagle thought he was a chicken because that what he was told he was by all of the right people.  Now back to the word spirituality and what it might mean. There could be many meanings. Recently, I was reading a book entitled Awareness by Anthony deMello. In this book, he suggests that the word spirituality means quite simply to wake up. He suggests that most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry asleep, they raise a family asleep, and die in their sleep. Like an eagle who lived his whole life like a chicken.

Often, I confess that I live like a barnyard chicken when I know I was meant to be a soaring eagle. Perhaps during this advent season we can set aside the sleeping life of an eagle living like a barnyard chicken—nothing against chickens. It is easy to get discouraged with all things in the barnyard, if you know all that I am referring to. We can become so distracted with the life on the farm, nothing against living on the farm, that we forget we are citizens of another community. 

Advent is the reminder that we are not alone, we have another reason for being—to soar. Like an eagle. It is God “with us” that lifts us up and restores us to our rightful place. So, its time to rise up from our slumber. We are eagles, established by God and for God.

This is my prayer for all of us this advent season, as strange as this article sounds. Life on a farm sounds great but the view from the air is quite nice too.

Merry Christmas,


Posted by Tobin Wilson with