Lent is a time to be honest about the ache that we feel.
All is not right with the world, and all is not right with my life. And no amount of shopping or eating or drinking or sex or church can touch it. Ours is a culture that offers many distractions, and I’ve given in to most of them. We feel the ache especially right after we’ve given in to something that we said we’d give up. These moments make us angry because the distraction promised a satisfaction that it was unable to deliver.
At this point in Lent, I feel the loneliness and despair of going without. It is grey and dark in my heart. Resurrection is not yet here. We’ve begun to empty ourselves of some of the distractions by fasting, but we haven’t experienced the freedom that comes from new life yet. Pain.
But I also remember.
I remember the ways that God has been with me throughout my whole, actual, life. In the joy but especially in the tragic and clattering pain. There is One who has an eye on me and an arm around me and has not yet let me go. Praise.
What does your ache taste like?
In the near immortal words of Leonard Cohen’s song, perhaps it sounds like a broken hallelujah. Pain and praise. Listen to this song, covered by Jeff Buckley below. (Perhaps we can get our friend Matt Moberg to cover it. If he says yes, I’ll post it as soon as he does.)
What would it look like for you to remember that even on your darkest day, you can rejoice that it is God who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion?
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5 (TNIV)