The middle of Lent…

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We are still in the middle of season of Lent. For those of us who still seek to travel within the ancient and generous Christian traditions, Lent is all about appreciation of journey, particularly through wilderness, through temptation and through encounter with our own weaknesses.

In the depths of this encounter, Easter is so far away as to be almost irrelevant. There are no miracles here, just grit in the shoe and hard miles to travel.

This year, I decided to do without sugar- as far as this is possible in a culture that even puts sugar in baked beans. In practice it has meant avoiding anything sweet, any fizzy drinks or chocolate. It has mostly not been a difficult thing to do and has clear health benefits. It is a small thing to signify sacrifice.

But the middle of the Lenten wilderness has little to do with food choices- this I feel keenly at present. I do not long for oasis, I long to live without the need of oasis. To live not longing for weekends and expensive holidays, but rather to simply walk in the way that I am made to be. To stop searching the horizon for something to aim at, to look forward to. To stop sugar coating life and just to live for something wholesome and true.

Perhaps you understand this- your walk is also hard, maybe an awful lot harder than mine.

In the middle of our Life-Lent, I offer you a poem/prayer I wrote a few years ago. I dared to imagine God speaking to me, sharing a moment with one of his more troubled and wayward sons.

 

Holy Spirit mojo

 

Put down those things you carry

Sit with me a while

Stop making things so complicated

It is much simpler than that

 

Start from where you are

Not where you would like to be

Not where others say you should be

There may come a time when

I will warm your heart towards new things

But right now

I just want to warm your heart

 

All around you is beauty

See it

All around you are people I love

And I rejoice as you learn to love them too

Look for softness in your heart

There I am

Look for tenderness

And it will be my Spirit

Calling you to community

 

It is not for you to cut a way into the undergrowth

Or make a road into the rocky places

Rather let us just walk

And see were this path will lead us

You and I

 

For my yolk rests easy

If you will wear it

 

And my burdens lie soft on the shoulders

If you will lift them

 

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