Waiting for the dawning light

For those working on justice issues, from the climate to inequality, to food or energy poverty, it can feel as if things move very slowly. When do we turn the corner? Will we ever see real progress? How long do we go on like this?

Advent is traditionally a time of waiting, and last year I found myself reflecting on the words of Isaiah, and the promise that those in darkness would see a great light. I wrote this poem in response, bringing together the wait for the promised child and the frustration over the slow pace of change. 

For everyone waiting

For everyone waiting
In motorway toll booths,
and maternity wards,
in airport lounges
and overnight trains.
Tired eyes are waiting
for the dawning light

For everyone lying awake
stressed and helpless.
Worried about work,
family, illness.
The past, the future –
Restless minds are waiting
for the dawning light

For those in pain, in grief,
the lonely and the lost.
The hungry, the hidden,
the hunted and the hated.
Broken hearts are waiting
for the dawning light

For the people walking in darkness
will see a great light.
On those living in the land of deep darkness,
a light will dawn.
For to us a child is born
to us a son is given.

And as sure as the tides rise
as sure as the world turns
the glow, the light, the day is coming –
for everyone waiting
for the dawning light.

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