I find myself looking at Lent his year in terms of an awareness of promise along the journey. The sort of promise I am thinking of is the assurance of various realities… realities that can console, challenge, call forth, remind, etc.
There is the promise of awe and wonder– The delight God takes in me and the gift of occasionally noticing some of the “10,000 places” (Gerard Manley Hopkins) Christ plays, revealing aspects of God’s grace and fullness and creativity. The contrast of colors in a new box of crayons or the splay of bare branches against a winter blue sky; the harmonics of a mockingbird; the sound of a congregation singing a Capella; the intimate physics of all that keeps us bound together until as last we are freed again. This promise is what helps me talk about my journey; what drives me to find ways of expressing the overflow I can not contain; what sometimes fills my silence and rounds out my sigh.
There is also the promise of ache, struggle, hurt, and confusion. The life of Jesus certainly bears this out and my own life has been no different. Time in the garden; people who walk away; loneliness; taking up the Cross. This promise is a part of the others, a reality to be borne as well and honestly as I might bear it because it can not be taken away if I am to believe in the promise of Love.
Love…the beautiful and difficult honor. Love, the promise from which I can never be apart. Love, which sustains, frees, binds, calls, sends, and brings me home again… sometimes hurting, sometimes tired, sometimes full of gratitude, sometimes dancing with everything and nothing all at once….always welcomed, always cherished, always known. Love which has abundantly blessed me and brought me safe thus far.
How I walk in the light of these realities is how I walk the journey of my life. I pray especially this Lent to move through my days as one who believes that the Sacred Heart is where these promises find their fullness, where what is most completely human meets what is most gloriously divine. And that the Heart is in all and with all and for all, world without end, amen.