Lent as a church season
In most Christian churches throughout the world, today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is a period of 40 weekdays, observed by believers as a penitential and devotional preparation for Holy Week and Easter Sunday’s remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a liturgical commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert before starting his public ministry.
Lent as a personal pilgrimage
Growing up in the Episcopal Church, during Lent we usually gave up something we enjoyed (e.g., chocolate or dessert). In recent years, I prefer to use the time to take on a new discipline: a book study, additional prayer time, a retreat. This year, I will keep a prayer journal so I can be more intentional about my connection and conversation with God.
Lent has long moved me. I find my sensitivity to Spirit quickens at this time, primarily, I’m sure because I make the space for it. I write very little poetry, but in 2003, Lent inspired me to write Lent Calls, and I share it with you here. Below the poem is the beautifully illustrated rendition done by my friend Lynne Crumpacker. If there is sufficient interest, I will get it printed on quality paper, ready for framing. Please let me know using the contact form on this site’s Get In Touch Page if you want to be put on a no-obligation list to be notified when printing and pricing are decided.
Lent CallsLent calls to me again . . . To do what? Like Martha, I tend towards doing Doing is something I understand Chairing a committee Taking food to the sick Reading the Bible Lent calls to me again . . . He wants more of me than I’ve ever given More than Lenten study More than giving up dessert More than extra church services Lent calls to me again . . . He wants more of me and I’m frightened Frightened of losing control Frightened of letting go Frightened of what He might ask me to do if I really listened Lent calls to me again . . . I feel a yearning, a tugging towards something more Whispers of a love unimaginable Glimpses of a relationship unshakable Tastes of a water so clear and sweet that my thirst is slaked forever Lent calls to me again . . . A step is all I can manage, Lord A hand extended A head bowed A conscious placing of myself on your Potter’s wheel Lent calls to me again . . . Help me with the hard part, Lord Help me surrender Help me abandon myself to you Help me reconcile myself to you Lent calls to me again . . . Here I am, Lord Elizabeth Herbert Cottrell Heartspoken.com © 2003