Lenten Joy


In the Celtic tradition, Philip Newell speaks of “listening to the heartbeat of God.”  John, the Beloved Disciple, heard the human blood pumping through Jesus as he rested his head on Jesus’ chest during the Last Supper. Such an image is so intimate, I almost want to shy away from envisioning it.  But, just as John, we are all invited into such deep intimacy with God.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day preparation time before Easter, and an invitation to listen more deeply for God’s heart in and for the world.

Lent used to be a pruning time for me, giving up things I felt were unhealthy or distracting.  Now, I focus on cultivation–how can I feed what good seeds are already sprouting.

Certainly, weeds need to be removed, but sometimes it’s hard to know at first what is a weed and what is a young sprout.

The best fertilizer and water for God-planted seeds is JOY–paying attention for it,  passing it along through little, fun gifts.

Weeds don’t tend to grow well on a steady diet of joy.

One of the ways I see and hear God’s heart is when a person’s face lights up with joy and laughs.  It’s musical and warms all who are near.

What are ways you can bring the light and music of joy into situations and relationships in your life during this Lenten season?