We don’t talk about Lent. Oh, we may joke around about what we are going to give up – like when my “fail safe” answer to that question was always “watermelon”! Really?
But what do we do with Lent?
Lent is a marking of days Christ spent in the wilderness preparing for his journey to the cross.
And we mark our ordinary days preparing our journey with remembrance, fasting from some idol we have created, to reflect Christ’ journey to the cross.
Most do not go into Lent eagerly, it is not a journey that is greatly anticipated.
Those of us who walk along this road do so reluctantly.
Lent is not our favorite time of year.
Lent takes courage and persistence and strength. It is so much easier to skip Lent and pick up the “go straight to Easter Sunday” card.
Easter baskets and bonnets and ham and crinolines and lacy socks with patent leather shoes and candy and Peeps are so much more fun than sitting in the still and recognizing our sin.
If Lent is preparing our hearts for Easter then we must be willing to fight for the gentle hum of quietness, even if it means stumbling and fumbling and do-overs to hear it.
Maybe the quietness of sitting still is what scares us the most.
Prayer, repentance, and humility are weapons to be used during Lent.
We go with Jesus into the wilderness of our soul for 40 days so we might come “face to ugly face” with our enemy.
Lent is scary and Lent is hard.
It is looking into the deepest corners of our hearts where we have pushed the ugliness of our self, hoping it would disappear.
Lent is Christ shining His light into our darkness, sweeping away the dirt and secrets and dust and shame.
Lent is holding a mirror up to our ordinary life and daring to look into it to find the reflection of our Savior.
Give us the trust to know we’re forgiven, and give us the faith to take up our lives and walk.
Going through Lent is a listening.
When we listen to the word, we hear where we are so blatantly unloving.
If we listen to the word, and hallow it into our lives, we hear how we can so abundantly live again.
Lord, hear this prayer so humbly offered.
Hallow, honor as holy, this ordinary life lived in ordinary days.
The journey is long to Jerusalem and Your cross.
Still the heart and open the soul to hear Your word.
(Some of these words are from writer Ann Weems, who has written the poems “The Walk”, “A Listening”, and “The Holy in the Ordinary” from her book Kneeling in Jerusalem . It’s a recommend book to especially read during the time of Lent.)