The ashes on my forehead long gone, my Lenten discipline exposed as more good intentions than realized practice, the cold days of winter beginning to give way to warmer afternoons, the center of Lent feels like a mix of blooming daffodils and bare tree branches. Lord, I long for beauty even as the world languishes in the carnage of cyclones, war and revenge. I began this Lent determined to stay alert to the presence of the holy, awake to the inbreaking of the divine, on watch for how to serve the One who came to save the world. But, dear God, right here in the middle of the wilderness, I confess I am weary, weighed down with the urge to sleep until the suffering has passed and resurrection reigns.
What are 40 days in comparison to the expanse of Kairos time? I hear Jesus in the garden, disappointed and exhausted, asking me why I could not keep awake for even a little while. I know the story, Lord. I know your people do not remain in the wilderness forever. I know that even in deserts, wild flowers grow and you provide. Manna comes each day and we keep moving toward your promised future. Even so, Gracious God, I forget that you give all that is needed and then some. I forget, joy comes in the morning and the great waves of justice cannot be held back much longer.
Forgive my faithless stupor and in your mercy nudge me awake with glimpses of goodness, small acts of kindness and relentless beauty emerging from places long desolate. Do not let me ignore the angels who minister in wilderness places, the nourishment of daily bread or the gift of those on this journey with me. Patient God, guide me through these waning days of Lent, keep me alert to your presence, awake for your sake and on watch for your promised new creation. Amen.