First, a poem from Gerard Manley Hopkins: I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day. What hours, O what black hours we have spent This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went! And more must, in yet longer light’s delay. With witness I speak this. But where I say Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent To dearest him that lives alas! away. I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me; Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse. Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see The lost are like this, and their scourge to be As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse. As much as the stepping into the wilderness of Lent can feel like new space opening up, opening for our processing of those pieces of our soul’s faith that don’t always find space in the usual places; it can also be disorienting. The things that flood us as we open to not staying buttoned up in our words with God and ourselves can feel scary at first, especially when we’re not used to it. A few days into the self-searching of Lent, we may find ourselves ready to pack up and move to warmer, balmier, more comfortable places. We’re not used to seeing the underbelly, the vulnerable, sometimes-ugly places in us we usually keep hidden well away. But this is a season for attending to ALL that is there. Our black hours, our sweating selves. (And the beauty, too. There is so much beauty!) When you take time for allowing it all to surface in you, what emerges? And how is God present to you in the wilderness of your own inner world? Perhaps this is a season of lament, as we notice the contrast between what we imagine our lives with God to be, and the reality of how we live in the world. What courage does it take to see? To lean in? To let God meet you in those “dark” places this Lent, this morning?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-02-24 14:24:32 UTC