Years ago my Mom read to me a beautiful quotation from a devotional book she was reading at the time. My memory of the title of the book or the author is lost, but as the author told the story of Jesus and the “woman of the city” who anointed Jesus’ feet with ointment, he says something about this woman, this “sinner,” as she is called by the Pharisees. The author described this woman as one of the many disenfranchised of the world, and through the acceptance and forgiveness that Jesus offered her, he transformed her life – from without and from within. The author said, that “Jesus placed a crown above her head, and she would spend the rest of her life growing tall enough to wear it.”
The season of Lent for me is a time of growth. The word “Lent” comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word that means “spring.” You can think of that spring as the season or the source of water. Spring is the time of new growth, and awakening, and thirsting for water. Lent is the time to taste anew the Living Water, and to turn our hearts to its Source with renewed purpose.
Many “give up something” for Lent, a sacrifice in preparation for Easter. Rather than give anything up, I like to take something on, something that will help me to focus my heart and soul completely upon the God I love, and offer all of myself – rather than just a part – as a living sacrifice, and a vessel of love.
Lent is a season of reflection, preparation, and gratitude. It is a mystical time for me. Indeed all experiences of love have within them a spark of mystery – something that is unknowable. Lent is a time of growth, and like the extravagant woman of the city, with joy I accept God’s unconditional love – no strings attached. And I, too, plan to spend the rest of my life growing tall enough. . .