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Sitting in Lent

Search me and know my heart.

 

It’s dark in my small home this morning. The kind of dark that comes right before the break of dawn. I trip over some shoes on the way to flip on a light. My heart feels kind of dark, too, I can sense the crevices within that have got without light for too long. Are they ready to have the light turned toward them? Do I really want them to be revealed to the Creator of Light? Would it hurt anything for them to stay enclosed in the dark, just for a few more days?

 

Test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 

The house has gone without cleaning for a while. Weekend trips and stomach bugs have pulled my attentions elsewhere, meanwhile laundry piles high, papers stack up unorganized, floors remain unswept. Home and heart reflect one another; I know there’s more of a mess inside than outside. It feels cluttered inside, too chaotic to really know where to start. There are anxious thoughts in there, I’m sure. They just are buried by other thoughts, trivial and serious and what should I make for dinner tonight thoughts. Am I willing for them to be sorted through by the one whose thoughts are vast and pure? Will they stand the test if they are examined by the one whose every thought is precious?

 

See if there is any offensive way in me.

 

I scribble out my agenda for the day. Some of these days are packed to the brim, but many of them have patches of empty. How will I use this time? In which direction will I walk? What will fill my thoughts? Where is my mind, my heart? I can feel myself clenching my fists around my agenda, my personal schedule, my to-do list. Is my path oriented around my way or the Way? If the King of righteousness walked along me today would I have the confidence to step forward? Could I humble myself enough to let Him point out where I’m going astray?

 

Lead me in the way everlasting.

 

My eyes are so tired this morning, my heart so sleepy. I want to be perfect. I want to walk in righteousness, to live in purity, to love like a daughter of the cross. And I fail. Again and again. There’s nothing left to do but to open my heart, to hold out my hands, and hope, and pray, that God and His grace might be what leads me forward.

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I want these days of Lent to have order, structure, and purpose. To intentionally prepare my heart as the calendar moves us forward to Easter. But it seems like one minute I’m soul-searching and the next minute I’m scrounging the cupboards looking for a decent snack. My heart seems unwilling to stop long enough to be searched and examined. Meanwhile, the dust just keeps accumulating on the stacks of things that need to be sorted through. I wonder how I’m supposed to get this Lent thing right, and couldn’t we just jump right ahead to Easter and new life?

But now we are here, in this season. The season to sit in the staleness of winter and deal with the staleness of our own hearts. The season of digging up the frozen dirt, stirring up the soil that’s been hardened for too long. Silence comes before celebration, repentance before renewal. Abundance will follow lack just like spring follows winter, but we must not race there too fast.

 

I clear some space on my living room floor. The second I am still I instinctively reach for my phone. No, it is not time for that. I decide that I am hungry, or maybe thirsty. Perhaps I’ll just reheat my coffee. I order myself to halt the subconscious habit to meet my every whim. I force myself to stay. Deep yoga stretches morph into deep heart searches. In the hushed calm of this morning I release my heart to the digging and searching and cleaning that precedes the newness that is coming. I sit in the quiet, I sit in Lent. And slowly, peeling one layer off at a time, I open my heart to be examined.

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Carolina Cisneros
    February 22, 2016 at 7:45 am

    One layer at a time. So it is for me. Have a blessed week and thank you for this post.

    • Reply
      greeroharah
      February 22, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Thank you, Carolina, for stopping by! Your words are encouraging to hear.

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