The journey through Lent is not necessarily a solo endeavor. Although we may choose to walk alone, we do so in the company of so many saints, dead and alive. Lent moves us to Easter and so our journey is toward the celebration of the transformative power of God’s love and grace. This love and grace is not just available to those who cross some imagined finishing line, rather it is available every step of the way, arches over us like a rainbow, and makes the walk possible.
Take a moment to read Seamus Heaney’s poem Miracle, which describes the work of friends. We so often have looked only to the one who was healed and ignored those who carried him.
Not the one who takes up his bed and walks
But the ones who have known him all along
And carry him in –
Their shoulders numb, the ache and stoop deeplocked
In their backs, the stretcher handles
Slippery with sweat. And no let up
Until he’s strapped on tight, made tiltable
and raised to the tiled roof, then lowered for healing.
Be mindful of them as they stand and wait
For the burn of the paid out ropes to cool,
Their slight lightheadedness and incredulity
To pass, those who had known him all along.
The spiritual discipline of Lent is trying to make sure our inside world is in good shape so we can shape the outside world which all too often is out of shape.
I walk this journey of Lent
yet in conversation
with so many.
Those who helped me to walk in infant years,
those who told me stories, made me laugh,
those who dried my tears and kissed my wounds,
those who showed me how, and told me I could.
hear my prayer of thanks
for all those who make this journey possible
all those who join me along the way,
making it possible for me
to stand where I stand,
to walk as I walk.
I pray for them this day.