She stood at the back of the crowded downtown Ottawa church. In a quivering voice, she told the assembly that Pam was not her real name. Pam told us that she had been Anglican all her life. After therapy to deal with a host of problems, she was doing much better.
It wasn’t until she went to a sweat lodge for the first time, however, that she discovered who she truly was. When she embraced her Indigenous identity in a community of compassion and spoke about it to people who just listened and validated her, she was made whole.
In Advent, the image of a highway-a Holy Way, as Isaiah puts it-denotes the path on which God’s people journey through the desert of waiting and preparation. On the surface, the text appears exclusive, reserved only for the “in” crowd. An alternate translation of verse 8 has it: “the unclean shall not pass it by, but it shall be for them.”
This turns it on its head! God’s Holy Way is meant for all people, including those on the fringes of mainstream society. God’s Way is made for people who know their suffering and are not afraid to be vulnerable with others who will walk with them.
Creator God, open our eyes to see and listen to our co-travellers on your Way. Amen. — MEM