We’re all in this together. You and me and him and her and they and them. Those folks and the folks that love them. Us folks and the folks who love us. It turns out - we are all loved.
When we dig to the core of whose we are, it’s never been us versus them. Instead, it is all of us. The ones who speak like us and those who speak in languages we don’t yet understand. The ones whose skin tone is darker or lighter than ours. Our differences of who we love, our differences of gender identity and gender expression, where we live, how much money we have, how much education we have – these are all parts, but not the whole of who we are. There are so many ways we have learned and perfected the ways we separate ourselves, one from another. And all the while God shakes her head and must be wondering why.
With all the brokenness in the world, why do we hurt one another day after day? Why so much time judging our differences? With all the pain and suffering, why do we spend energy and resources building visible and invisible barriers?
As I journey through these forty days of Lent this year, I am mindful of paying attention while on this path. These are not ordinary days. They are meant to stretch and pull us; they are meant to renew and reorder our faith. If I spend these days staying put, I will learn little and I will get nowhere else, nowhere new. If I pass this time doing what I’ve always done, I’ll keep doing mostly what I've always done. I pray that will not be the case.
Pilgrims on the road - a strong image for me for this Lenten journey. Fellow pilgrims who are also journeying through these days. With some fellow journeyers, I will be spending regular and intentional time. With others, we may share only one encounter, for only a brief time. With these pilgrims, may I not hold on preconceived notions. May I let go and be open to what is to be discovered and re-discovered. May I be generous of heart and mind. May I offer lovingkindness, offer generosity, offer my best, May I see in each one the face of Christ, and be mindful of the gift I, too am receiving all along the way.