For Advent this year I’m participating in the #AdventWord project from Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar with a daily meditation on the word for the day.

In the 1950s, a highway overpass was built through my neighborhood, cutting the neighborhood in half, while allowing drivers going from the outskirts of the city to downtown to zip through.  Over time, the induced demands of driving brought traffic to a crawl, and the overpass began to decay.  Two years the state demolished the overpass and began construction on a new at-grade road with amenities designed to mend the neighborhood back together. The project is approaching completion but remains very divisive.  Some people didn’t want any changes made at all, some people wanted a new overpass, some people think the plan doesn’t go far enough to reverse the damage of automotive priority.  Everyone is frustrated by the two years and counting of disruption due to the construction.

It occurs to me that while “to mend” is considered a net positive in the outcome, the process of mending can be frustrating, painful, and destructive.  If that’s not a metaphor for our lives and relationships, I don’t know what is.