One cannot hear the word ‘lent’ and not have an emotional response. Lent is not a neutral word. When I think about lent as a child, I remember giving up candy, gum, or ice cream. The few times that I made it all the way through lent, I felt a bit smug and proud at the end of the 40 days. Most times I gave in to ‘temptation’ and then the guilt and remorse set in. But…those were my childhood memories. I’ve grown and my feelings about lent have as well.
I remember a lent a few years ago that was so joyous for me that I almost felt guilty for being so happy. It was a lent laced with love – with the thought of all that He did for me was out of love. His choice…He chooses to love me more than His own life. He chooses to accept me in all my weaknesses and flaws and, He chooses to die for me. His choice – my Grace. That year lent was a gift and it was a joy-filled 40 days.
Most lents are a mix. With so much inner and outer work to do, how could these 40 days not be a mixture of pain, sorrow, joy, and love? What will this lent bring?
I will try to remain open to whatever emotions fill me these next 40 days. I will try to approach lent as an adult with the heart of a child.