Just as I am – an Advent journey

I was there on the hillside, when the angels arrived

‘Come just as you are,’ they sang, ‘Come just as you are!’

Invitation to leave a landscape chill, to make a journey – can’t do any harm

But just as I am? I hardly think so

‘Just as I am’ has never been enough, we all know that

They teach you young and the adult imagines it still

There are things you know without even knowing you know

And I know I won’t do as I am

‘Come just as you are!’ sing the angels, ‘for you are God’s delight.’

And I’m on my way, as the angels bid, but my smile is grim, not an easy walk, troubled days, you might say

Circumstances kind and cruel

Though the cruellest circumstance is me

I will not allow this just as I am, I will not allow it! – not for a moment

Instead, I compare, it’s what I do – I find myself comparing

I measure as I journey…weigh myself against who I might be, against who I should be…against all the better others who surround me

‘Compare!’ say the demons in my head, such un-merry voices from long ago

Just as you are?! You’ll need to do better than that!

I feel their force in my body every step of the way

It’s what I know…but is it what I want?

And I remember, the angels sang, ‘Come as you are, for you are God’s crown!’

Invitation to leave my chill inscape

And if I could, for just one minute, be just as I am in peace

Well! That would be quite enough for a happy ending

And impossible…so I journey on

Though I hear them still, ‘Come just as you are!’ the angel song, ‘you perfect child!’

And I make my way on, rough ground, and fear myself lost – some light ahead, the grunt and rustle of a stable in the valley below, this can’t be the place

Though I stumble happily towards it down the tracks of my days, down the tracks of my years, toward this farm shack, all a-flicker in the night

And just as I am in peace and laughing – when and how did that occur?!

Just as I am, free of judgement’s clamp, eased from assessments within

‘Come just as you are’ as the angels sang, ‘for you are higher than we, dear soul!’

And I do and I do and I do!

Just as I am, laughing so merrily I almost fall on the winding path, and yes, a cold coming I had of it that night, the weather not fair –

But quite enough for a happy ending

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