A Time to See and Hear
The call of Lent is the call to taken time, time to listen, time to see. Many choose to give up something for Lent (or add something) so that in doing so they might see the world differently. Too often our world is crowded with noise and the chaos of life, distracting and clouding our vision away from the things that matter. The core aspects of life that give and make life meaning such as relationships, ephemeral moment of simplicity, spaces of spiritual clarity or awareness of the shear beauty of being alive.
In the cloud of chaos everything seems to be yelling at us demanding our attention and focus. In coming text messages, mountain paperwork and emails, bills and work, people and todo lists shout their demands wide and far. From all sides we are assaulted with the good, the bad, the benign, the absurd and the ridiculous. So much so that we can feel like there is no means of escape, almost suffocating.
And this constant demand for attention can easily distract us from the things that give us life, anchoring us in the core while battling the storms. Things like spending time with someone, climbing to a lookout in the Santa Monica Mountains where the whole world in technicolor glory spreads out before you, the simple act of cook or creating something from scratch, or a tender touch in a moment filled with emotions.
Personally I have been feeling the lack of those centering core aspects that are what sustain life. I find it is so easy to let all the things that center and root me in the call of Christ fall away in the face of anxiety and business.
So I am thankful for the call of Lent. The invitation to see and engage in an awareness of the call of Christ. The call to care for the orphan the widow and stranger, the call to feed the poor, raise the dead (or things that have been left for dead and passed over), heal the sick (or heal things that have been malformed and made sick), free the slaves and captives (those who are bound and abused) and cast out and name that which is evil and demonic.
This week I begin with the simple action of looking at every person I encounter as an equal. Someone who is loved and cared for by God. Allowing the knowledge of my shared humanity as the binding connection I have through Christ to everyone else on the planet drive my actions and responses to those I encounter. Creating space for art, music, poetry, movies, film, and scripture to be the conduites to reorientation with the transformative notion of the community of God as all of humanity bound together through Christ. The firm belief my hope and salvation is rooted in the one who binds us all together and in turn calls us to be the agents of his action in the world. Healing the sick, freeing those captivated and bound in all forms (physical, emotional, spiritual), feeding those who are poor (physically, emotionally, spiritually), caring and protecting those who are other (orphans, widows, strangers, foreigners) for we were once other, and raising the call for actions of love and justice. May those have ears to hear and eyes to see become more and more in tune with Christ.