I’m not entirely sure how I managed to let this season slip through my fingers.
I began Lent with such good intentions and strong convictions. My practice of sacrifice was going to be elegant and meaningful. I was going to rediscover – or discover for real maybe – what it meant to find comfort in God, during a time when we as a church are purposeful to recognize the gathering darkness. I was going to emerge altered, and closer than ever to truth.
“I was going to” is much less elegant and meaningful when it doesn’t become “I did”.
So I failed. I failed more than usual. I failed consciously and while completely unaware. I all but wasted this time set aside to focus more fully on Jesus Christ and His heavy heartfelt journey to the cross.
These last several weeks of Lent were no different than the rest. That all to say I am so much more wasteful with my time than not.
The beauty and the grace and the vividness of this world and of God moving in this world are too often wasted on these dull, blind eyes, too often overcome by the mundane. And when I am awake enough to notice Him, I am always caught by surprise, as if I don’t fully believe that God is here, and that He is present.
So I let all that is worthy slip from my mind. I let all that should seize my heart and spur my hands and feet and stretch my soul become nothing more than background noise. I let myself, created at once and for ever and ever to fall for God as thoroughly as He fell for us, to fall instead out of practice, out of reach.
I need each Lenten season to tell me how to focus more faithfully. I need symbolism and tradition and liturgy, I need empty tombs and rough, rugged crosses, I need ashes and palm branches and the oil that anoints, swelling hymns that reach toward Heaven and broken loaves of bread. I need the earth waking after a long and brittle winter, bursting with color and fragrance and promise. I need a hand of God on either side of my face as He says, “Look. Don’t you see? Here I am all along.”
I need to remember the tomb still sits empty because the promise has been fulfilled. I need to remember Jesus said, “It is finished”; I need to move in this world like I believe it actually really is. I need to remember the grace spilled down that hill, running like blood and water, shaking the earth and tearing the veil and swinging wide the throne room of God.
I need to know even when I fail, when I putz around and waste the time and the space and the words God has given me, Sunday still came for me.