Lent: Day 34, 35, 36

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The days are melting into one. Like colors in the rain, every encounter and moment blends into a runny mess. Saying “goodbye” isn’t easy. Finding time to pack, finishing procrastinated projects, and squeezing in several “last meals” have taken over our final days. 

This journey has been a good reminder during Lent. The purging, letting go, the confession of protected routines…it has helped us focus on a prioritization of people over process. 

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We are in Holy Week. A week of sacredness. When the cable news wants to feed me a diet of scared anxiousness…I will choose sacred attunement. An intentional pause to attune my imagination toward the resurrection life. 

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For the past few days I have been meditating on Psalm 24. 

Psalm 24:1-2 – The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.

First, it’s good to be reminded there is an authority of the earth (the land). When corporate land abuse is sustained by consumer demand…when climate change continues to be denied by the ignorant…when the sea and the rivers become toxic rather than life-giving…there is an authority who will provide accountability. I’m not sure how…but I am sure the earth is the Lord’s. 

Second, it’s good to be reminded there is authority of all those who live in the world. Last I checked the Hebrew meaning of the word “all” was still “all.” There are no God-forsaken people. No God-forgotten people. No God-abandoned people. And it’s a good reminder in a world that carelessly chooses its “targets” and callously labels its “others.” Perhaps it would do the world some good if we ALL remembered we are ALL beloved. 

But mostly I have meditated on the “seas and rivers.” 

It is common thought that “the sea” in scripture often refers to chaos. A uncontrollable, unknowable, and unpredictable danger. The sea was something to fear. Humanity has tried to conquer this chaos, to eliminate the unknown, from the beginning of memory. Even the Apostle John sought to describe his vision of peace with “There was no more sea” (Rev 21:1). We seek to pull back the curtain of mystery. We seek to solve the unknown. We seek to have dominion over chaos. 

But I am thinking the sea isn’t something to run scared from. Perhaps “fear of the sea” is the healthy kind of respect we give to a power greater than our own. To understand our boundaries. To respect what is ours and what is not. To embrace our limited humanness and rest in our pursuit of unlimited….everything. 

If I can be permitted to meditate…perhaps the river also flows with meaning. It springs from a hidden ground source, taking the path of allowance, feeding tributaries that sustain local communities, filtering the waste of carelessness…the river does its work often unseen and uncelebrated. Perhaps the river runs from Genesis to Revelation…from the beginning to the…new beginning.  

The earth and the world is the Lord’s…founded on the sea and the rivers. 

I am seeking to re-tune my imagination to see life as mystery. To expect less cause and more chaos. And perhaps if I can learn to listen and watch…I will see beyond the chaos into mysterious beauty. Perhaps in resting from conquering I will find true compassion. 

As Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, “Earth’s crammed with heaven; and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees, takes off his shoes. The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.” 

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