Lent: Words of Love

734505_10200973599527362_1523726892_n-Paige Trivett

Surprise! Lent is here! I for one was caught off guard with how quickly it came this year. But no turning back now; we’re in it for the long haul (of forty days)! After spending four contemplative days at Emery House, I have come into Lent with a new perspective. I used to view this season as a time of solemnity, self-denial and repentance. But this year, I intend to use it as time to explore how expressing love and gratefulness shape my everyday life and my understanding of my relationship with God.

A good friend and fellow young adult Episcopalian shared on social media a list of forty prompts related to the season of Lent with instructions to write a daily devotional on one prompt each day until Easter. I have decided to take up the challenge, focusing on love and gratefulness in particular with each entry. Below you will find my entries for the first three days.

Day 1: Quiet

For someone who enjoys the quiet, living in a society that relies on sound for so many things can be challenging at times. My days are loud. They include spending three hours each morning with curious third graders, discussing the struggles of middle school with extremely vocal teenagers most afternoons, and navigating a range of topics with the five other Grace-on-the-Hill residents. The tasks and responsibilities that fill my day require so much verbal communication and internal thought. So the few moments during my week when I can find a quiet space are more precious than the most expensive gem. Those moments allow me to just be present. Those moments give me the opportunity to reflect on my day and count my blessings. Those moments are chances for me to recharge and leap back into the beautiful chaos that awaits me.

Day 2: Ashes

Ashes to ashes
And dust to dust,
Each year we don the symbol of embers
That asks for discipline

Often we fail
To meet the expectation
Set forth by tradition
That was designed not as law
But as a beacon
A suggestion
A foundation.

The beauty of disappointment
The merit transpiring from defeat
Serves as a freeing reminder
That He became man
To be a guide
A companion
A loving neighbor.

Day 3: A Meal

The smell of sea salt lingered among our pink, plastic pews and the humidity oppressed our sunburnt and blistered congregation. We had completed yet another physically exhausting but spiritually rewarding day at Holy Cross Anglican School. As we paused that evening to share the one bread and one body at His table, I looked around at the faces I had come to recognize and love. I knew in that moment just how important these people were to me. It is so rare to both find and connect with a group that shares so many core values and I had the privilege of accomplishing that in just two short years. Whether gathered together on a sand-scrubbed porch in San Pedro, Belize or scattered across the globe, my Canterbury family always has and always will hold a special place in my heart. And on that special night, my bonds with both them and Him grew even stronger.

If you would like to start your own Lenten journal using the prompts I mentioned above, here is the complete list: Quiet, Ashes, A meal, A saint, Light, Hope, Favorite place to pray, Sacred space, A word, Peace, Sacrifice, Friendship, Warmth, Nature, Loss, Something purple, Success, Bread & wine, Fasting, Fire, A verse, Heart, Bible, Joy, A stranger, Ruin, Healing, An idea, Journey, Water, Failure, Longing, Community, A book, An old treasure, Darkness, Cold, Remoteness, Favorite prayer, Jesus.

Happy writing!

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2 Responses to Lent: Words of Love

  1. N ana says:

    This is so great!!!! A little tony tiger but so full of truth!!!!! Nana

  2. Jeannine uzel says:

    Wonderful! As a natural introvert nudged into an extrovert role by a leadership position I accepted, I can very much identify with your need for solitude! This is why I have to retreat to Douthat State Park at least once a year- no TV, no internet, and an abundance of peace and quiet. Thank you for sharing!

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