“People who pray stand with their hands open to the world.” (Henri Nouwen.) Their arms wide open to the world. May my heart break wide open so that the world may fall in. Come all who are weary and burdened. Come. Let me be with you in this. Let me be there for you. (Words I penned yesterday morning as I continued to meditate on what my Lenten practice would be this year.)
I am continually amazed at my need to get out of my own way so I can hear God. While it is only recently that I have become more aware of the practice of Lent, I decided this year I would be prepared and consider well in advance what my Lenten practice would be. I read up on Lent a bit and even ordered a daily meditation book several days before the season was to begin. I considered giving up wine or sugar, exercising more…you get the picture. And then I ran out of time to think about it (hmm) and left for Brazos de Dios on Ash Wednesday.
No phone service. No internet. No i-pod or t.v. No interruptions from the outside world. Only ten people with the sole purpose of re-discovering the truth and beauty that lie deep inside each one of us.
That is my work, my joy, and (finally I realized) my Lenten prayer (my Life prayer)—to be fighting with and on behalf of truth and beauty for myself and others. Seeking the beauty and glory that we may not be able to see in ourselves. Digging through the armor of lies we believe—“I’m not good enough.” “My feelings aren’t important.” “I am nothing.” “I don’t matter” etc., etc. Fighting the battle alongside each other. While I know we must do it for ourselves, we do not have to do it alone. We can travel this path together—learning from one another.
My heart is filled with joy and my cup overflows. This Lenten season I choose to give away Me. Thankfully, gratefully, joyfully. My Lenten practice is not giving up drink or sugar or reading and exercising more, doing more, but rather I choose to be present to the world and to those around me. Living intentionally and bringing myself fully. Fighting side by side the battle that is ours together.
I invite you to join me for I cannot do this alone. Together let us seek the beauty in each other and break through the armor of lies that keep us in bondage. Together, let us move toward Resurrection this Lenten season (and always).