My heart has felt so heavy lately.
And frankly, it has been less about the events of the world and more about the responses to it.
Just yesterday, as I sat in a waiting room, I overheard a conversation that was borderline hate speech. And what I found so interesting is that these individuals clearly had no problem with everyone around them hearing their conversation.
It got me thinking.
It is the season of Lent.
A time where traditionally people of faith decide to go without – a personal denial which allows for a vulnerability that will lead to a deeper intimacy with God.
Usually, I jump right in. In fact, I usually have it planned out ahead of time as to what I will deny myself during Lent.
I did not do that this year, and I have to tell you – it has been the most humbling Lent for me.
It seems God intended (probably planned it much further in advance than I do!) for me to release my Ego for Lent.
Does that sound strange?
Well, let me tell you – it feels strange.
I am finding that I am saying sorry and meaning it more than I have (most likely ever) done before.
I am finding that I am noticing places where I contribute to the hostility around me, whether it is blatant or inadvertent in nature.
I am finding that I want to make amends in places where I did not really care to prior.
Now, obviously that seems to be a lot to accomplish since Lent began less than two weeks ago. Clearly this area of growth for me began long before Lent and will continue long after.
And I think that is true for most of us.
Perhaps Lent is more a time for collective awareness – a time in which we ask God that He help us to see more clearly, shining that light in on the areas where He is already at work and wants for us to confess and repent – releasing our hold.
We do not like the words
But I believe we desperately need them.
Perhaps more than ever.
Hate is permeating our world.
And it is devastating.
And unless we can admit to our complicity, nothing will improve.
As you watch or read the news tonight, keep a tally of how many times there is a reference to the loathing or hate of one Soul of another.
Take it a step deeper and keep a tally of how YOU respond throughout the day in judgment, loathing, or even hate of another Soul.
It has been quite daunting to me to see how much input I allow daily that is destructive instead of constructive.
There is no more dire time for us to collectively choose to Love Our Neighbor.
Love is the ONLY thing that casts out evil.
“JUSTICE is what LOVE looks like in PUBLIC.”