Lent is only for a season. Coming from the word spring, we think of Lent as a time of 40 days. Truth be told, during this season of Lent, the Sundays aren’t counted so we really journey longer. Sometimes life is like that, "things take the time they take…" Many say that Lent's timeframe comes from the story of Jesus wandering in the wilderness for 40 days. Lent also welcomes us, reminds us about, teaches us and even prepares us for the seasons in our lives when we find ourselves wandering in the wilderness.
For many this is a time of intention. It is a season of spiritual practices, old and new. Lent is a time of holding on and letting go. It's a time of ending things to make room for welcoming whaat will come next. For some of us, Lent is about giving up and giving in. It is about turning and returning to purpose and place.
Carrie Newcomer is one of my sheroes. Carrie is a mother and partner, a Hoosier, Quaker, folk singer, poet who writes words from her heart. Many of her words have served as a compass for me as I have continued to make my way through. In her song Two Toasts, she sings, “To the words and how they live between us, and to us and how we live between the words.”
With these words as my Lenten compass for 2020, I am hoping to companion images of faith and hope and love on this journey into and across space and time.
Lent is a spiritual season that bridges our winters into spring. For the next days, I will be writing words for reflection. My intention will be to focus on different guides for each day of the week. On Sundays words from Jesus' teachings; on Mondays, words of holding on; on Tuesdays (thanks to Latin student, son, Sam…) mysterium tremendum et fascinans, mysteries that fascinate us; on Wednesdays, words of letting go; on Thursdays, signum, symbols that hold and companion us; on Fridays, spiritual songs; and on Saturdays, prayers. Along with that, each day I will share a picture of a recent sunrise. Most every morning, I walk from the parking deck through the upper side of Lullwater Park to work. I'll share pictures of sunrises to share images of the changing of seasons.
Sometimes I lose sight of what is always true: even if we do something we have done before, it is always a new thing we are doing. Always. This will true for these coming days. We are not the same as we were for last year's Lent. Life happens to us, in spite of us sometimes. We are changed in little and great ways because of it. So, as we enter into this season, we begin with only the bare trees of winter and will finish seeing buds on their branches. Time will pass, it just does. The wisdom and grace of the wilderness journey, await us. I trust that they will companion and guide us as we step out into this holy season.
Grace upon grace to you as we begin a time of more than 40 days into something new. Here's to you and here's to me - and to the words and how they live between us, and to us and how we live between the words.