Lent begins with a look in the mirror...
It’s starting to be clear to me that the journey through Lent must start with me. It must start with looking at my own brokenness and my own sinfulness…and it must be a look that leads to repentance. I have read a number of other blogs and lent guides that seem to suggest this idea that lent starts with repenting of our own sinfulness and brokenness. My friend Tara even suggested the wonderful idea of using a mirror as a center piece on your table to remind you to examine your own heart and repent of any sin in your personal walk with God. This is a good place to start the Lenten season – looking honestly at my own life and heart and recognizing where I fall short and need God. Taking time to personally turn from my own sinfulness and turn towards the merciful God who calls me.
But, something within me rebels against this.
I want to skip this part…I want to jump to looking at the brokenness in my world and finding ways to join God in repairing it. At one point I even found myself rationalizing skipping this step on the grounds that it was selfish to focus so much on myself even if I was focusing on my sin! Crazy, huh? But, then I realized what I was doing. I realized that I was just making excuses and trying to avoid a very necessary and essential part of Lent.
Lent starts with me. Christ came not just to redeem the sinfulness of humanity, He came to redeem my sinfulness. Christ came not just to repair the brokenness in the world at large, He came to repair my brokenness. Christ came not just to restore a right relationship with the world, He came to restore a right relationship with me. Lent must begin with me. Lent must begin with a deep and honest look in the mirror, a deep and honest look at myself and my own sin. Lent must begin with me seeing clearly my own heart, my own life and seeing clearly how much I, Bethany Anne Stedman, need a Savior, a Redeemer, a Friend. So, that’s where I find myself this first week of Lent. And despite my desire to run away from this part in the Lenten journey I choose to face it head on and enter into this part of the season with courage.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Lord, you have searched me and you know me… show me honestly who I am…
Rejoicing in the journey - Beth Stedman
Photograph by Bryan Stedman