May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
These words speak truth beyond our understanding. Only through living do we realize the courage it takes to walk the road set before us.
There is no life without storms. Woven in the fabric of our stories the storm often helps us realize our priorities. Exposed to these elements of nature, we are given time. Time for the waters and wind to wash, to clear our clutter and distraction. Without this wash, our spirits are burdened leaving us with heavy, slow steps as we try to move forward.
The rain is important, puddles are essential. They wash and lighten our load with playful, dancing steps. This is a good reflection as we live into the days of Lent. The act of cleansing is liken to the purge experienced while wandering in the wilderness.
Either way these opportunities bring clarity and can encourage stronger connections to one’s faith and direction. May Lent, these 40 days offer moments enriched by the wash of water and pure cleansing by time in the wilderness.
I share this with you knowing that each reader will have their own image of taking these steps. Most often moving beyond our comfort zone fills us with anxiety and distress. The “place we have occupied for so long” is familiar and safe.
Yet these words are filled with an invitation – honest and comforting. The steps may not be easy but they lead to freedom and compassion. Our perspectives need to change in order to hear the gentle answers of our hard-earned questions.
Once again I give thanks for Bishop Stephen Charleston. His words are wise and rich with imagery. May these words offer safety and compassion as they call for change.
Come stand over here, just a step or two beyond the place you have occupied for so long, where you have worn the earth smooth with your pacing, where you have spent so many hours fighting the problem you cannot seem to solve. Take a break. Catch your breath. Come stand here, where you can catch a freshening breeze and see far into the valley below. Let the distant clouds carry your worry for a while, see how the sun empties the world of shadow. The answer you seek may be just a step beyond, a higher place where the view is clear of all obstructions.