Olivia Newport 3 Advent candlesLast Wednesday I had a good day of work. With a water exercise class that I love at lunch time. Yes, a good day.

Evening plans included homemade pizza and an Advent vespers service.

In between, I thought I had time for a walk on a route around the neighborhood and a few minutes of listening to an scrumptious audiobook. So I turned on the oven to preheat, pulled on my sensible, sturdy shoes and headed out the door. The afternoon was lovely, but it was getting close to five o’clock, so I knew it would be dark soon. But I had time.

Ah, my forlorn plans.

About halfway around the route, I innocently stepped off a curb. Just that fast I was on the ground. In pain. With what turned out to be a broken ankle.

Thank God for cell phones. It took my husband a couple of passes to find me writhing on the curb between parked cars, but he came and got me and delivered me to the urgent care facility in an expedient manner.

No homemade pizza. No quiet Advent service. Just give me the drugs.

Then began the waiting. First I had to wait to hear from an orthopedist practice about when they could see me. Then I had to wait–over the weekend–for the appointment.

But mostly I have to wait for the body to do what God created it to do. The pain tells me my brain has accurately assessed the threat to my tissue and shouted out “Heal! Heal!” responses.

I can do a few things to take care of myself during this healing time. But in a boot and on crutches and with instructions to put ZERO weight on the foot, I am also aware of my limitations. I am aware that if I need something I might have to ask someone for help. I am aware the next few weeks of my life changed in that split-second off the curb. I am aware that movement and independence that I take for granted are beyond me right now.

And so I wait in helplessness for healing. Is that not a package wrapped in Advent?

With so much outside our grasps, we wait in helplessness for healing to come to our spirits, to our lives, to our world. O come, Emmanuel. Come.