Lent. A time of reflection. Waiting upon God. Practicing the gift of sacrificial love which knows no bounds. I view Lent as a communal grace offering to the One who has no need of gifts yet bids us come with all that we are and all that we have. This year more than ever I come seeking renewal. I have become all too aware that my vision of life and faith are so easily corrupted by the flawed level of consciousness I bring to each and every day. I humbly seek and desire the very mind of Christ.
These are a few of my Lenten gifts I seek to lay at His feet:
The gift of a letter. To write a note of acknowledgement to someone whom I have witnessed extending a particular kindness or gentleness when none was required.
The gift of friendship. To reach out to embrace and encourage someone to whom I am not easily drawn. I have been the recipient of much in the way of friendship and love. How can I continue to remain within my own selfishly comfortable boundaries, to withhold myself when Christ calls me to pour myself out on His behalf?
To surrender my secretly superior attitude whereby I judge and condemn the actions of others. May I renounce, confess, and let go of this secret sin and the others that so readily grow alongside it.
To allow the wounds and suffering of others to pierce my heart. I find it easy to grow callused and hard-hearted, particularly when confronted with suffering on a global scale. I earnestly desire to be faithful in prayer for those whom the Lord would put on my heart.
To seek out the way of unexpected service, however small or seemingly insignificant it might be. I would do well to remember that a cup of cold water offered in the name of Jesus can be a precious and life-giving gift.
To daily seek Him and to offer up to Him the praise of my lips. To turn my conscious thoughts toward Him and to meditate upon His word, then to joyfully come into His presence with songs of thanksgiving.
To laugh more with those I love.
To find joy in the ordinary and happiness in the simple.
To desire less.
To need less.
To buy less.
To give away more.
And then to give even more.
To practice kindness to those who have wounded me.
To seek to forgive quickly.
To be willing to readily forgive everything from the slightest hurt to the gravest offense.
To let go of old wounds and to seek the grace of healing that only He can bring.
To speak freedom.
To renounce all lies and to fall in love with the truth.
To be willing to speak the truth even when it is not easy or easily understood.
To risk reputation for the way of Christ.
To love the unlovely.
To listen more and to speak less.
To quit interrupting.
To value another's story more than my own.
To be willing to walk to the end of the road with someone. With anyone.
To be a better listener.
To be a giver of joy.
To rest in His presence.
To celebrate His beauty I see in others.
To celebrate His beauty in my surroundings.
To greet each new day with anticipation.
To end each day with heartfelt gratitude and prayer.
To share the story of all that He has done for me, in me, and with me.
To embrace the reality of Easter in a deeper way.