Sunday, March 11, 2018
Seeking Spaciousness During Lent
Genesis 2:7 - "The Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it; he breathed a life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live."
Anticipating the ground would be muddy, I changed into a pair of old boots I carried in my trunk. The cleared rows were bumpy with large clumps of dirt defining the space. Dried corn shocks littered the ground, remnants from last year's harvest.
I was walking a cleared corn field belonging to a friend. I was struck by the spaciousness of the open field and yearned to find that same space in my heart. I quit teaching a few classes and leading a weekly support group both at church. I sought rest and renewal felt the stirring of my desire as I walked in the empty field.
Ash Wednesday came a few weeks later with the the reminder that humanity came from the earth and will return to the earth at the end of life.
When I received ashes on my forehead at the noon Ash Wednesday service, the pastor quoted Genesis 3:19 - "You are dust and to dust you shall return." My mind flew back to my walk in the field where I walked on dust, dirt, as I traversed the spaciousness of an open field.
Lent began with a desire for spaciousness blended with the sobering reminder that eventually I will return to the earth. Keeping spaciousness of heart will be my challenge for Lent. On that cold January day when I drove back from the field, I already felt enclosed by buildings and houses along the way. I know I'll feel the same as I move through the 40 days of Lent, soul-scrunched and longing to open wide to God, to people in my life, and in the world.
Questions for Reflection
1. What is your heart seeking this Lent?
2. How can you reach your desire?
3. What image comes as you walk these days before Easter?
Prayer: Thank you, God, for the space of forty days to go deeper with you. Guide our hearts and give form to our desires so that we may learn more about ourselves and you. Amen.