For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
We recently celebrated the Fourth Sunday of Lent with a meditation on the Gospel of The Man Born Blind. This is a beautiful story rich in symbolism depicting the mystery of faith. A man blind from birth, who through an encounter with Christ becomes a witness to the miracles of his healing Grace. I am the light of the world, Jesus says. And by your faith, you have access to this healing light, this amazing Grace.
We are about midway through our reading of Clearing Space, and Parsons gives us time now to check in with our Lenten practice. How are we doing? Are we developing new patterns and habits? If we can imagine we are in some ways not unlike the Man Born Blind — especially during this introspective season of Lent — where in our encounters with the divine this week have we seen light coming through? What discoveries are we making: in what ways are our eyes opening, our arms stretching out into wider space? Below are some questions for reflection, and I encourage you to journal with them or if you’re comfortable, leave a comment here.
What rhythms do you see emerging in your Lenten practice? Write about how this practice is taking shape throughout your day, paying particular attention to any new habits that might be emerging in this newly opened up space.
• When and where are you most at ease in your practice, feeling engaged and energized by it? Listen also for those moments of peace that come from your closeness with God.
• What distractions to your practice are you struggling with and how are you handling these?
If you are making your way here for the first time, we are discussing Sarah Parsons book A Clearing Season. If you don’t have the book, you can still follow along. Next week we reflect on Isaiah 43:16-19 and Psalm 92 as we look for signs of new growth. Begin your reflection by writing down a few accomplishments that have emerged from your Lenten practice. You might think of these accomplishments as healing moments of clarity or release, where you have been brought out of darkness and into the light of awareness, of freedom, of peace and greater understanding. Think of how you might share gratitude with God for these moments, perhaps though a kind word or gesture to someone else in need of healing Grace.
Related Posts: Ash Wednesday | Lent: Exploring the Wilderness | Lent: First Clearing
One thought on “Lent: Natural Rhythms”
Some Mark Nepo quotes from my quiet time today:
“The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.”
“The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.”
“Whether through the patterns left in snow, or geese honking in the dark, or through the brilliant wet leaf that hits your face the moment you are questioning your worth, the quiet teachers are everywhere, pointing us to the unlived portion of our lives. When we think we are in charge, the lessons dissolve as accidents or coincidence. But when we’re humble enough to welcome the connections, the glass that breaks across the room is offering us direction, giving us a clue to the story we are in.”
If you like Mark Nepo, find more of his wisdom in The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life and The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have