Happy spring, everyone! By the time this hits your hands, we’ll be weeks into the Lent Season and nearly to the celebration of Easter week! I write this with much contemplation and anticipation stirring in my heart.
I want to share a reflection written by David Bayne, a Word Made Flesh staff member in Argentina. David is simply incredible! He absolutely radiates love of Jesus and his deep and genuine spiritual awareness and growth is inspiration. He leads and teaches all of us. David’s reflections constantly remind me of the truth that God is never silent. Even in the quiet, God is guiding me. David wrote a lovely piece on Lent, here is an excerpt from that reflection.
Here in the Southern Hemisphere, the 40-days of Lent span the closing weeks of summer and the beginning days of autumn. I often share my frustration that most liturgical year meditations reflect on the parallels with Northern Hemisphere seasons. This has inspired me to look at the liturgical seasons through new lenses, paying attention to the rhythms of the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere.
Parker Palmer writes in his book Let Your Life Speak, “In my own experience of autumn, I am rarely aware of the seeds being planted. Instead, my mind is on the fact that the green growth of summer is browning and beginning to die. My delight in the autumn colors is always tinged with melancholy. I am drawn down by the prospect of death more than I am lifted up by the hope of new life”. Palmer goes on, “Autumn constantly reminds me that my daily dyings are necessary precursors to new life. If I try to ‘make’ a life that defies the diminishments of autumn, the life I end up with will be artificial, at best, and utterly colorless as well. But when I yield to the endless interplay of living and dying, dying and living, the life I am given will be real and colorful, fruitful and whole.”
I am learning to see Lent as a season to die to the self that does not reflect the characteristics true to God’s image and Kingdom. For me, Lent is a time to confront my false self; a time to put to death identity, value, meaning and purpose inconsistent with being created in the image of God for His purposes. I understand one purpose of the disciplines of Lent is to put to death the parts of our lives that prevent us from living more fully into God’s Kingdom.
Very soon, the abundance of trees lining the streets and filling the parks and plazas of Buenos Aires will once again turn yellow and gold. As Lent approaches, I pray that these increasing autumn colors will serve as daily reminders of the areas of my life that I need to die to so that I can more fully live.
Thanks, David. And to all of you, have a wonderful Lent and Easter season!