Lent 36

Dear Jesus, you are full of contradictions that sometimes help but many times surprise me: saying “Peace, peace” but throwing a fit; giving sight to the blind but telling the sighted to find their own way; lending a hand to pull fish into a boat, but showing up empty-handed to a picnic for 5000, and then later saying “Eat my flesh”; you healed so many sick but missed the funeral of your best friend (I wonder if he forgave you for that after you unwrapped his grave clothes…); you railed against those who neglected the poor but you accepted a gift of expensive perfume; you claimed divinity (sometimes) but got dirty and rode a pack mule and broke religious rules. You manage to be seriously confusing, Jesus — then and now — so I pray in this holy week for the patience to find the Holy in the inexplicable…and the Inexplicable in the holy.

Lent 35

Let the ancient sequoia bear witness,
Let the tides of the ocean give testimony,
Let even the lowly earthworm tell the story:
There is nothing new under the sun.

The lake’s waves whisper it to the shoreline,
The endless stream of clouds declares it:
The turning of life’s circles is endless,
Its seasons may not be interrupted

And in the eternal arc of life, there is God.
Across the whirl and span of time,
In every instance of life,
There is God, and this is good.

Hear the winds as they sing this timeless truth.
See the sparrow pause to feed without worry.
Trust the budding trees as they repeat:
God is in the turning of life, and this is good.

Lent 34

Reach out to me today, Holy Friend;
catch my hand and hold it tight,
else I might not make it through this day.
Pour me a steaming cup of mint tea,
toast a slice of bread and set it before me
as the best of friends would do
to sustain & comfort this weary soul.
And then do not leave me alone, but
sit and talk through life with me;
nudge me to laugh when I am ready,
offer me tissues when I am not.
Then when it is time to move on,
travel with me, or at least send me on
with a token of your love and presence.
Reassure me that, if it doesn’t get better,
you will still be here for me.

Lent 33

May dawn find you awake and alert,
approaching your new day with
dreams, possibilities, and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew you.

(John O’Donohue’s “A Blessing” in For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics, Hay House Inc. 2009)