as i prepare my mind, heart and spirit for the season of lent, i’m reminded of this powerful status update i read not too long ago by a brilliant biblical scholar named dr. wil gafney, whom i deeply respect and appreciate:
“Lent is coming and I am almost out of laments – and I do not want any more.
Lent is coming and I do not want to spend any time in self-reflection because the world is on fire.
Lent is coming and I can’t focus on my personal frailties and foibles because people are being shot like dogs, beheaded, crucified and burned alive.
Lent is coming and working on my own soul’s health feels shallow when Nigerian and Yazidi girls have been sold into sex slavery and nobody is bringing back our girls.
Lent is coming and my prayers are screams.
Lent is coming and all I can see in the scriptures is the hurt, pain, violence and death.
Lent is coming and I want to sit in dust and ashes all 40 days.
And after Lent comes…I can’t even think of it. The world is crucified and crucifying. The scent of lilies cannot cover the stench of death.”
dr. gafney writes this in the midst of what has seemed to be an endless barrage of brutal killings, countless injustices, and just plain evil happening in our nation and around the globe. i feel her cry! honestly, this last year has been ROUGH!
because of this reality and the fact that i feel robbed of experiencing an advent season last december (because it felt more like lent), i’ve decided to turn this lent into my advent. i’ve decided i’m looking for light. i’m searching for good news. i’m hoping in the promise of an infant life amidst the stench of so much death in our world. i recall that god saw it was good from the beginning. and, i look to the ashes as that which will soon rise again. so, i am going to let these truths take me ALL THE WAY to resurrection sunday!
i am. i will. i have to.
and, not in an ignorant way, but i choose to find something of promise each day that reminds me that god is ever present in the midst of it all.