A Prayer for Lent

I’m in the middle of Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong.  Its arrival is perfectly timed and every word rings true – reckoning with emotions, rumbling with the difficult and shadowy parts of our story, and discovering the revolution of rising to a life worth living in spite of fall after fall.  I didn’t think I would have paid Lent much mind this year except I can’t seem to avoid it; and this book is inviting me to dive headlong into something of a Lenten practice – nothing as benign as abstaining from chocolate – something entirely new.  As I try to sort out my relationship to Lent, I run into my complicated relationship with Christ.  Jesus lived in a way that reverberates through the centuries.  But I wonder, is he so unique?  Brown dedicates her book “to the brave and broken hearted who have taught us how to rise after a fall.  Your courage is contagious.”  I write this prayer to Jesus, just one example of these brave people, in my estimation.  A younger version of me may have considered this prayer heretical, but it’s where I stand in this moment. My prayer is for me, but it is also to and for all of the souls that seek to move beyond mere self-preservation to real life!

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photo by susan on flickr.com

You,
my brother, my model, my hope;
you who, like me,
contend with slippery lies
that say you need them to survive;
you who, like me,
face authorities unaware of the content of your soul;
you who, like me,
confound your family and make them wonder
how best to love you;

You embraced springtime,
in spite of the shadows falling on the path
or the death contraptions waiting in the holy city.
You washed the mirage of survival from your eyes
to see the truth of being alive;
You noticed the strings that rendered the authorities
puppets and toys;
You became a brother to humanity
and you made your home the world
because love lives in flesh and stone.

I do not need your sacrifice
or your righteous titles this Lent.
I just need to know that it can be done,
that you are not so different from me;
that lies, strings, and obligation are nothing to fear
and that death is but a mirror
that makes this moment brilliant and free.

Through your vulnerability,
you are rising strong
through me, with me and in me
In the unity of the Spirit of life
all glory and honor is yours,
Undying Truth,
today, tomorrow and forever.
Amen.

 

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