Unless it is pouring down rain, I walk nearly every day.
Some days my walk is through town, but on other days I walk on one of the dirt roads near where we live. As you know, if you live here in Vermont, there were some very cold days this winter. On those days it would have been easy to stay home. Inside where it was warm and safe.
But, there I was…
Hat. Mittens. Vest. Winter coat.
Going for my walk.
Walking in one direction often wasn’t too bad.
But, when I turned into the wind…it was cold!
I could feel myself shrink into my coat in an effort to hold onto whatever heat my body was generating. And, looking around, it seemed like even the trees were doing the very same thing. Holding onto whatever life energy they had until it became warmer and they could breathe and spread out again.
It occurred to me that maybe Lent is a bit like that.
A time set aside to intentionally acknowledge and to do our best to see and to face into the brokenness and frailty of our humanity. A frailty and brokenness we know and feel all too well. Everything from the war in Ukraine to the stain of racism to the anxiousness of waiting for the doctor’s report. A brokenness and frailty which often makes us want to pull back and to pull in. To find and to stay in that place where it is safe and warm. And yet, because we are people of faith, we dare to turn towards the world around us just as it is. Both heartbreakingly beautiful and heartbreakingly awful, and to walk in the direction of God’s Kingdom come and the promises of Easter.
That Life is stronger than Death.
That Death does not have the final word.
That in the end, the power of Love will prevail over the love of power.
Lent reminds us we live in both places at the very same time.
Surrounded by the what is and yet, in faith…because of our faith…continuing to walk towards the what shall be.
May I offer this prayer…
Meet us where we are, O God, but leave us not there as we continue to walk through these days towards the promises of Easter. Amen.