“Our level of belonging can never exceed our level of self-acceptance” Brene Brown
This past Saturday night at the refuge we talked about the season of Lent and what it means for us. It’s just a weird coincidence but our 40 day theme at the refuge is “into the wild”. In our community, there’s a wide range of feelings about God, from angry to ambivalent to passionate to loving to a whole long list of expletives. I love people’s honesty, but it is so different to so many other church-y experiences I have been part of over the years where there’s a general assumption that most everyone there is somehow excited and looking forward to “connecting with God more deeply and intentionally.” I shared that my one hope for each of us during the next 40 days is some how, some way, we’d become more comfortable in our own skin and in our relationship with God.
To me, Lent is a stripping away season to get to more of the essence of who we are, who God is. I don’t think this is the only time it happens, hopefully we are always in that process. To me, that’s sort of the purpose of “the church” no matter the shape or form it takes–to help us grow in love for God, others, ourselves.
I love what Joan Chittister says about Lent:
“It is a call to remember who we are and where we have come from and why. the voice of lent is the cry to become new again, to live on newly no matter what our life has been like until now and to live fully. It is even more than that. It is the promise of mercy, the guarantee of new life. It is the resin that keeps our souls melded to the Spirit within–despite the pull of chaos and waste and superficialities on our spiritual moorings. Lent is our salvation from the depths of nothingness. It is our guide to the more of life.” – from the liturgical year