Lent-ish

by - February 25, 2020



I have not written much here in the last year and a half. And writing is not like riding a bike. Art skills languish when left un-exercised, and I feel very out of shape as a writer.

But chasing my unfinished faith and writing are things that used to bring me life and joy. I'm currently in need of both. And I've been challenged by several close and wise friends to begin writing again. And I think I found a way.

I read "Lent ish" by Megan Westra yesterday.

The faith tradition I came from does not observe the Church calendar, and I have only ever approached Lent in very small ways.

Megan's life has been hard lately, and she wants to approach Lent this year with authenticity and from the context of her circumstances.

Lent is traditionally a solemn time (40 days from Ash Wednesday through Good Friday) of reminding ourselves of death and the frailty of life. It is not a setting aside of our salvation and rejoicing in it. Rather, it's a time of remembering how desperate we once were apart from the saving work of Christ. Lent is a time to remember we were once dead in our sin and that we still are but dust.

Let's full stop there for a season and feel the weight of it again by reacquainting ourselves with our desperate hopelessness and neediness.

Many people approach Lent with sacrifice or with fasting from something — meat, chocolate, social media, for instance.

I want to approach these days leading to a celebration of the resurrection with an eye to sin's destructive forces on my life and thus my utter need of deliverance. I want to lean into the tension of living in an age when Christ has already come, but not yet in a way that sets all things aright.

This is the age of sin's rule over the earth. We endure the effects of a fallen creation, our sin nature's presence, and the consequences of resulting sin. But we do it with the hope of his second coming to finish redemption's good work.

I want to not only live, but thrive, in this age of sin's continued presence. I want to participate in this solemn season when we focus on death so we can fully appreciate and celebrate the precious, costly gift of eternal life. I want to sacrifice. I want to fast (relinquish) something that will honor God as worship. I want to embrace death for a season.

So I am choosing to write through Lent.

I am sacrificing the safety that comes from withdrawing in painful circumstances.
I am fasting hopelessness, despair, and fear.
I am offering (giving up for Lent) the audacity to find hope and a future in Christ that is healed and whole and lacking in nothing as a living sacrifice
I will work out my salvation with fear and trembling, and with pain and desire.

Choosing hope is a a courageous act of defiance. It is an act of worship I will offer in faith, because right now I don't have even one day's worth of hope or grace or joy in me to offer. I have no words whatsoever worth sharing right now as I commit to public words for 40 days.

These 40 days of writing sacrificially will be faith — the assurance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen.

I am certain that writing publicly words I don't currently possess for 40 consecutive days after a long season of no writing at all will result in some pretty poor writing. (You've been warned.) But it will be good exercise for my soul. So I will publish daily, no matter how worthy or unworthy of readership. I want to show up here every day, persistent and relentless in pursuit of God from the dark unrest.

And maybe you'll find your faith here, too, through the lens of your own doubt and uncertainty through my words being wrangled to the altar of sacrifice.

The words will come from both life's storm(s) and the defiance against it(them).

Peter did this when he walked on water. He boldly looked to Jesus who called him onto the water while he lacked the discipline to not look at the dangerous waves beneath him. What he was doing made no earthly sense, but he did it anyway. He walked, he sank, and Jesus, who walked in the storm with him, lifted.

I hope he will do the same for me if I put one word in front of the other.

I am choosing to tenaciously practice hope in this season of darkness before resurrection.

Join me?

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3 comments

  1. I could not be prouder of you because I know how difficult this "Lent-ish" will be for you. I will be reading everyday and praying for you.

    Love,

    Auntie Donna

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  2. I love the concept of fasting hopelessness, despair, and fear. I've never thought of giving up negative things for Lent. Usually, people deny themselves desires. Choosing hope is courageous, especially when you're in a dark place. I look forward to reading your posts. I've missed them and you.

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