Therefore, behold I will allure her,
and will lead her into the wilderness:
and I will speak tenderly to her heart.
I think these words could just sit there, alone, echoing loudly in the chambers of our hearts. The Lord has plans for you this Lent…to allure you, draw you into the desert…and to speak tenderly to you: He has plans to make you new.
How is your heart this week? Does it feel like it is in a space of desert, empty, barren and forsaken?
If so, you are not alone. Our Lord is entering into the desert and alluring you out there with Him, where he will fast and pray for forty days and nights, strengthening Himself, and you, for the passion ahead of him. The power He is cultivating within His Heart doesn’t feel much like royalty or beauty. It can feel an awfully lot like suffering and abandonment. That can confuse us when we’re trying to be close to Him! We don’t enjoy feeling like failures. We get tired of instructions and guidelines, only to find ourselves frustrated again by our human weakness [insert burden here…we all have one]. Friend, the answer is within reach! What if you are being called this Lent to not make a plan? To not do anything extra? To lay down your expectations and pressures…?
There are so many loud voices today: voices in our heads, in our communities, in our social media. Sometimes we want to turn off our minds to drown out the noise, as there is so much of it. So, why not do it? Turn them off!
***Here is the secret!***
God’s spirit is most clearly detected in the silence. The silence of our hearts. The silence of a quiet place. The silence of the desert.
Today, make silence!
Make a space of silence. Go to it and be still.
Then, pay attention to the interior movement of your heart. Realize that these movements – when oriented toward goodness and beautiful things – are the Spirit of God within you, the Spirit of a God who is love.
You and I don’t need a grandiose program of sacrifice. We don’t need lists upon lists of fasting. Those things are good. If you have the grace to commit to them, of course allow your heart to move forward. Yet we don’t need to go out and fight global battles, because love starts in front of us.
Love is in the day to day.
One small prayer lit to heaven. An Act of Hope is as simple as saying,
“Father I hope in You.”
“Father I entrust this area of my life to You.”
“Father, I’m lost. Come, find me.”
Make this your Lenten program. Try to do it only once.