What a Heart Needs {#LentChallenge}

Lent begins tomorrow and I’ve never sensed more how much my heart and mind are in need of its discipline for loving God well. 

The wisdom writer has told us there is a time and season for everything, but have you noticed how easy it is to move in and out of days like they are all the same? The hard lines of beauty have blended into the shadows of commonplace; they are smudged with my inattention and lack of appreciation. My focus is scattered. My heart is fragmented with too little desire for the holy and too great an obsession with leaky skylights, unending laundry, and irritating people. I wake up each morning and attend to the same list of demands and complaints, nothing ever finished and everything not quite right.

My heart is tired of living life in the shadow of death.

Lent comes to me with the rumbling of a fast approaching train. The flashing lights at the crossing cautioning me to stop.They are begging me to alertness, to cease my driving sacred roads thoughtlessly, recklessly. Wait and watch the thunderous force pass by. Let its thick din awaken us from the numbness of routine, of habit, of aloofness to squandered beauty.

My heart needs practice living in the shadow of resurrected life. It needs discipline and exercise in reaching forward through the thickness of today to grasp hold of God’s goodness, beauty and truth so often hidden in places I avoid because of discomfort and fear. Lent gives us Christ’s hope to discover life (yes, true abundant life) in repentance, sorrow, and longing. That is if we are willing to be brave enough, after all, what is hope if it has no courage?

Pharrell is wrong, happiness is not the truth. Happiness slips away. The truth to which Jesus calls us is deeper and lasting. If you seek, you can find without the fear of losing. Lent is for seeking deeply. 

Some people give up something for Lent; others take up something. In past years, I’ve done both. This year, I will do both again.

I’m giving up grumbling. My complaining words are cluttering up the airways. I’m so aware and vocal about what isn’t, I’m deaf and dumb to what is. I have ugly playing on loop and I’m tired of its whine. So for 40 days there will not be a  word, not even a whisper of complaint. Not when the dogs drag mud all over the house. Not when I get cut off in traffic. Not about anything. If I speak, it must be about the beauty found  and treasured in Jesus. Yes, heart, you need this.  

I’m taking up Margaret’s #LentChallenge to read the New Testament in forty days. If one is practicing not speaking ugly, then one must concurrently practice listening to the beauty of truth. Yes, heart, you need more truth. 

What does your heart need this Lenten season? How will you long and ache for more resurrection reality? How will you stop the motion of the ordinary to be captured by truer things?

If you’re not familiar with Lent, here are some resources. This, by Winn, is a soul-fortifying vision of Lent. Ann has a beautiful resource to guide your Lenten experience. {I’m going to make the tree so my eyes have a beautiful reminder of Christ.} I was really impressed by this prayer guide. My new favorite site, filled with wisdom, grace, and beautiful words, is likely to have some powerful reflections for every heart in need.

I plan to share short reflections on my Lenten journey over the next forty days. I hope you will join me. Together we can declare Jesus and his beauty, goodness, and truth. Yes, our hearts need this. 

2 thoughts on “What a Heart Needs {#LentChallenge}

    • Thanks, Margaret. I’m grateful you extended the challenge. I’m expectant and looking forward to hearing how the Lord meets others too.

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