If you have ever read my blog, I hope you have, you may know that I attempt blog my way through Lent. So beginning with Ash Wednesday I may post a reflection, or a thought, or maybe a video that has a spiritual or religious meaning I feel fits with Lent. Sometime, because of the busyness of simply being clergy I may only post a scripture verse.
In looking over my blogs (Black Belt Spirituality and Yes We Can) I noticed that they were written in my own wilderness experience. A wilderness experience of divorce, self doubt and feelings of worthlessness. And not that they were clouded by that experience, they were definitely shaped by that. Ok, they were clouded a little bit.
I am amazed at how walking through the season of Lent for the past few years has shaped me and given me a deeper understanding of what it means to walk through the darkness of the valley of ones spiritual life and death. Lent will continue to be a valued time of year for me, and I feel blessed that my experience over the past few Lents has given me a deeper understanding of compassion and empathy for those I walk with in my ministry.
Ministry will continue to be a series of glorious peaks and devastating valleys. You cant invest yourself, physically, emotionally and spiritually into another’s life and not expect it to be. But that is the honor of what God has called me, us, to do.
And I am in a season of life where God has placed in my life a woman who gets that, and chose to actively be part of it. I have been blessed with someone who has decided to love me; and I her, despite our selves. Fred Rogers, every generation X’ers favorite Presbyterian minister once said:“Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”
I would say today, that for Lent, pray on love. Love is an active noun. It takes work. Lent is about self reflection and self improvement in light of the active love that is the grace of God. Unearned and unwarranted favor placed upon us by God even though we don’t deserve it. But Grace wouldn't be grace if we didn't act upon it. Accept that we have received it. And try to return the favor.