“Lent isn’t about forfeiting as much as it’s about formation. We renounce to be reborn; we let go to become ‘little Christs’. It’s about this: We break away to become.”
-Ann Voskamp (buy this book, though the quote is not from it… and you’re welcome.)
it’s your love that we adore; it’s like a sea without a shore
-David Crowder, Sometimes
On Ash Wednesday, two photo shoots sandwiched a meeting and then a quick run. I headed to my sister’s house to help her pack boxes, because next month she marries and moves east to North Carolina. A day so full left no time to have my forehead crossed with ash, that external symbol a smearing reminder of repentance, that human glamor will come to an end. Instead I crossed my heart and hoped to be present in this season’s invitation to new life. Easter comes in a few short weeks, and new life blooming all around testifies of the beauty we are made to live, that beauty held in tension with an earthquake pushing tsunami waves reminding us to be mercy. This beautiful world is cracked, fragmented, broken, and I believe we are invited to heal, to hold, to redeem. We accept that invitation by yielding to a God who humanizes humanity…
Trying to grow a business while working for another as well keeps me busier than I’d like, and I want to pause on this season and be present to God and to those in my community. I hunger for transparency, for change. I hope it comes. I believe it is possible.
Daily, though, I pull away, to walk the dog and run some miles, and my head clears. The wind cools, as the sun finally warmed winter away. The pace of a walk or run through my neighborhood allows me to see the subtleties of the season shifting: a new bud yesterday, flowers today; nests cover once naked branches; the earth between sidewalk cracks speckled green. Nuance, perhaps, but they tell me that new life arrives in season, with time, unforced. It is natural.
I wonder, then, if perhaps when new life is not appearing in this life it is because I have set my sights short, and settled for poor-replacement synthetics instead of allowing God to be himself in circumstance, identity and the combination of the two. His way, higher than mine or ours, provokes these thoughts, I think. And my soul humbles. My knees fold. How I want that way to grow within me. The possibility of healing the broken, holding the hurting and redeeming the world beg for belief in this grace that is new life…