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On the Way   The Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlan
40 days. Go.

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Oh, Lent.
Every year when it arrives, I am so ready for it.
Sick of winter (though we barely had one this year),
Looking to reengage my soul as the Epiphany light begins to wane,
Ready to draw inside in quiet contemplation and to look with a new vantage at this great big world.
Feeling, this year, worn down by discord, hatred and fear meted out in bomb threats (two this week),vitriol on social media and heartbreaking stories of severed, longtime relationships over political divide.
Needing Lent.
Needing Lent this year.
I am ready.
At Wednesday’s service at the Cathedral, Dean Pinder talked about opening our hearts and letting ego spill out in Lent.
 He made his hands like a giant clam shell, pried them open and then dumped ego out on to the floor.
He showed us how to make the sign (language) for “wretched” (make your hands in to two gnarled fists framing the ugliest face you can make) and then we sang, softly, “Amazing Grace” as we prayed for God’s healing of our hearts.
We remembered that we are dust, and to dust we shall return.
And then I came home to this gem, copied below:
It shall be a Holy Lent, indeed.
Rend Your Heart: A Blessing for Ash Wednesday
-Jan Richardson
To receive this blessing,
all you have to do
is let your heart break.
Let it crack open.
Let it fall apart
so that you can see
its secret chambers,
the hidden spaces
where you have hesitated
to go.
Your entire life
is here, inscribed whole
upon your heart’s walls:
every path taken
or left behind,
every face you turned toward
or turned away,
every word spoken in love
or in rage,
every line of your life
you would prefer to leave
in shadow,
every story that shimmers
with treasures known
and those you have yet
to find.
It could take you days
to wander these rooms.
Forty, at least.
And so let this be
a season for wandering
for trusting the breaking
for tracing the tear
that will return you
to the One who waits
who watches
who works within
the rending
to make your heart
whole.

2 thoughts on “40 days. Go.”

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