I am admittedly drifting into Lent without a map or a net. Committed to being present and awake, I am hoping and praying that each day, I find the real work God has set me to. And deep down, I know that God will deliver. That's who God is. I'm letting me be me, and God be God.
And today, that seems to be true. In my drive time with God, today's theme showed up.
Pray for those you find it hardest to pray for.
I was listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter, swimming around in "He Thinks He'll Keep Her." I was weighed down by kid stuff...hurt feelings, vague commitments. Thinking about the hurt and pain of the church right now. Wondering whether there would be downtime in the weekend. Paying attention to chords and strumming patterns and accompaniment. Coveting talent. Fuming about some headline about how far McLaren, Bell and Miller have strayed from their righteous evangelical roots.
How do I love the people in my life that I would prefer to strangle? At the very least, those I'd prefer to shun...the people it would be easier to avoid, disrespect, abandon?
Then I arrived at the office and spent a little time casting about, looking for a devotional read. Facebook produced a link to 40 ideas for keeping Lent holy from House for all Sinners and Saints.
Day 1: pray for your enemies.
God is funny that way.
Lining up the breadcrumbs.
Leaving Burma Shave signs along the side of my daily road.
Reminding me that I am not alone. Not a passing thought goes unheard.
And so today, I keep bringing to mind those I desperately don't want to count among my neighbors; people who have hurt me, people I have hurt, difficult people, people that I disagree with, people that challenge me, people who just don't get it. I pray for them..for their wholeness. And I pray for my own heart of stone.
Lord, in your mercy, receive my prayers.