Yesterday, we were reminded that we are dust....and to dust we shall return. The humble beginnings way back when God created humankind....are with us today...as we remember our own humanity. It's a journey we do not tread lightly...and I got to thinking/meditating both in worship last night and this morning about this Lenten journey. I was reflecting on my Advent discipline of praying the hours...morning, noon, evening and nighttime scripture and prayers. How I reached out beyond myself to pray specifically for others, both individuals, families and groups of people....to bring them along on my journey to the birth of the Christ child.
I wondered how ... or what that would look like in Lent. Pastor Bill shared that one of his former colleagues had journaled about the different people/places he saw God every day. I thought that would be a good way to turn me away from myself...to help me each and everyday to see God at work in the world around me. A reminder, to myself, that God's world, God's plan and God's mission is already happening...and Lent, for me, is a time to turn back to God, essentially to turn away from being self-centered or self-focused.
Part of the way I am asking God to turn me outward is by using the Trinity Lenten Devotional. Each day, my day begins with a devotional written by a person from Trinity...It invites me into morning prayer...and to pray for that person, too. I am hoping, too, during the next 40 days to actively look for the presence of God in the world and in the people around me...and to blog about those moments. Those kingdom or God moments...when God's presence/love/grace is expressed and shared by someone....(other than me)
Yesterday there were many....the service on Ash Wednesday is such a moving service...it was/is an amazing thing to see the imposition of ashes on all ages of people from all walks of life...seeing people reconnecting with their humanity...and gathering together to journey through Lent together...humbling......
But another moment that caught my attention yesterday...by smell first and then by sight, was traveling in the car with Pastor Bill and Vicar Caitlin. We turned a corner and were being a tractor - hauling manure. So there we were on a winding road...going up a hill, and turning on the air conditioner and recirculating the air in the van, so we didn't have to smell the stink.
We made it up the hill, and while we were waiting for a straightaway, the tractor pulled onto the other side of the road, kept driving and signaled for us and the cars behind us to pass him. I've not seen that before...a tractor pull over into the oncoming traffic lane to let those stuck behind him get by. As we passed, and breathed deeply (because we could!) I thought...there's a kingdom moment. There is someone who knows he is living/working in community with others...and he was thinking of his neighbor - us - as he took actions that would benefit not him, but the greater community. It was a wonderful sight to see.
Today, God's presence was revealed to me in a holy hug.
I attended a day camp meeting in Reading (my internship stomping grounds) and saw an old friend. The embrace was priceless...I can't speak for her, but I felt friendship/love/joy/excitement/anticipation all in one moment. Words cannot express the feelings I felt in that moment...but I know God was there...as we reconnected as we remembered old adventures...and anticipated new ones.
I continue to thank God for calling me to this place.
The holy moments are overwhelming, but at the same time reassuring...that God's presence surrounds me here. I feel God's presence in the joy and love and support from others...and I thank God for that.
I also ask God to continue to reveal God's love for the world through others around me...that I may continually be turned and directed on God's mission.