Today Lent begins. Lent is my favorite season! Said. No one. Ever. But I caught myself at least considering it today. Lent gets a bad rap. Deprivation, somber, renunciation (okay, no one uses that word)…but these are probably come to mind when you think of Lent. Who signs up for that? Lent, however, is a space in our lives where we are invited to pause long enough to ask ourselves essential questions like, ”How is my life unfolding? “ And “Is this the way I want to live?”
Lent is time we set aside to discern our awry motives, harmful patterns and other burdensome inner realities that shape our days. Dutch Catholic priest, Henri Nouwen, offered a prayer this way: “There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess…. I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it.”
The problem is we are not prone to look at our messy lives. All sorts of things keep us from honest reflection at the things that have remained hidden and unattended to yet still dictate our daily lives. And we wonder why we do the things we do.
The problem is we are not prone to look at our messy lives.
The thought of unearthing our brokenness, sounds painful, if not scary. We see ourselves plunging into self-condemnation or worse, shame. If it were not for Lent, however, when would we ever intentionally be willing to look at those things below the surface of our lives that still drive us? Honestly answering these questions could, however, be the place where our rescue begins. If it weren’t for Lent we would never experience resurrection.
Culture tells us to escape from brokenness…hide from it, numb it, deny it, bury it. So much dysfunction in our lives comes from trying to escape broken things. Don’t be afraid of broken things. Right in the middle of our brokenness is where you find Christ most at work redeeming our lives. If we can step into the brokenness, sit with…and offer it…our very rescue can begin.
If we can step into the brokenness, sit with…and offer it…our very rescue can begin.
For those in the Tri-Cities area, join us for a 6-week Lenten experience on simplicity. We will learn how to get rid of excess in 7 areas of your life, such as clothing, stress, spending, clothes, etc. Starts Sunday, March 11 at 4PM at Faith Tri-Cities, Pasco, WA.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power, that is at work within us…to him be glory in the church….forever!” Eph. 3:20
I love this so much. “Don’t be afraid of broken things. Right in the middle of our brokenness is where you find Christ most at work redeeming our lives.” SO good. Thank you for sharing. You are such a gift.
Love you to the moon and back!
I was just pondering what commitments I might make to the Lord during Lent, and one of the first things I came across after these thoughts was your new email/post. Looking at the items Nouwen mentioned showed me I am on the right track in the things I’ve been considering focusing on. Such perfect timing- thank you, Gail!
Nouwen’s words caught me the same way. Perfect timing for both of us. Thanks, Dana!