Lent. A period of self-reflection and sacrifice, with intent to make amends where necessary, to listen in hope of hearing what God’s purpose is for my life, and to “do better”.
The image below caught my eye a couple of days ago as I was taking a walk. The trees and sky are reflected in a small puddle on my walkway. The colors are of the submerged pathway flora.
It reminded me of the reflection period ahead.
I’m been trying to decide which purposeful and purpose-filled activities I will choose for the next 40 days, and on this Ash Wednesday, I have made my choice.
I’m subscribed to 40 Acts, a daily email for 40 days with 40 reflections and 40 challenges to make a difference through acts of generosity. This comes from stewardship services, a charitable organization in the UK. I’ve participated in this challenge for a number of years. Today’s challenge is to draw a target, with GOD at the center circle, and then in each of the surrounding rings name who is in my circle – family, friends, and others. My target rings are of the many women in my life. This first challenge is easy. “Do something today for one of the people in the target.”
I’m psyched about my other intention. Recently I was reminded of a book I acquired several years ago, Making Crosses, A Creative Connection to God, by Ellen Morris Prewitt. It’s about making crosses using discarded or found materials, giving them new life – “taking what the world doesn’t value and making it into a work of God”. Engaging in this activity is meant to provide a way into communion with God.
I have been gathering materials during the past couple of weeks in anticipation of making crosses.
I’m not certain if I will make a cross a day, or perhaps on those days I feel with certainty the desire to be in communion with God.
Today I begin.
The Reverend Barbara Crafton writes,
“Is Ash Wednesday about our sins? Well, it’s not not about them, since they are part of every life. None of us does everything right every day. But there is more to who we are than lists of our infractions. Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return is a counsel to become aware again of our creatureliness. We are mortal. We are temporary. We don’t have forever, not here, not as we are. Joy and sorrow come into each life, some earned and some gratuitous. They are not evenly distributed — some of us get off with a lighter sentence than others. But nobody escapes completely.
Today, rejoice in the joy and acknowledge the sorrow. Most of us will see both of these this very day is we look around us, or steadily within ourselves.”
I’m off to do something nice for someone on my target.