Advent Musings 4: Watching and waiting…at the mall

By Catherine Pate

This is the fourth of “Advent Musings,” a series of meditations written by Canadian Anglicans (and friends) and published on each Monday in Advent.

I work in a mall. Well, I don’t exactly work in a mall, but my office is situated in a mall. As I sit at my computer each day, I overlook the second floor corridor as people make their way from one end of the mall to the other, weaving in and out of stores like mice scurrying in and out of their burrows.

From where I sit, I am eye level with the twinkling lights of one of the many decorated archways lining this particular walkway beginning on Nov. 1 through Jan. 1. In the midst of the little white lights that dangle like untied shoe laces, an enormous red and gold bow hangs stiffly from the centre of the garland crowning it on both sides, just as it has each year for at least the last four.

And below, a “holiday” tree stands next to the Chanel display at Holt Renfrew, reminding last-minute Christmas shoppers that a fine bottle of perfume can say a lot in a pinch.

Everything waits here at the mall. It all waits…to be bought, to be sold, to be consumed and then bought again. It waits. And as it waits, it promises…happiness, fulfillment, or, at the very least, a great Christmas morning around the overstuffed tree.

And, in the midst of the mall that waits I wait too. I wait for something to change. I wait for the people I watch walk past my window each day to exclaim a collective “Enough.” I wait for someone to say, “Hey, my cell phone is just fine. I don’t need an iPhone 3G to call my mom.” I wait.

I wait, on the edge of my seat, for the promise of the one who is to come to be fulfilled.

And as I wait in the midst of the mall I want to sing, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

Catherine Pate is the program editor for Evangelical Lutheran Women Inc. and the editor of Esprit magazine. She is a life-long member of the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land and the co-founder of saint benedict’s table in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Interested in keeping up-to-date on news, opinion, events and resources from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts .