Lent: Honouring the Cracks by Kathy Escobar

This morning’s post comes from Kathy Escobar, one of my favourite bloggers.  She also has one of the most creative names for her blog – the Carnival in My Head Kathy describes herself as a mommy. wife. friend. pot-stirrer. shepherd. follower of Jesus. peace maker. rule-breaker. dreamer.  She pastors at The Refuge in Broomfield Colorado.

lent: honoring the cracks

this is the first year that the refuge, the faith community that i am a part of, has intentionally honored the season of lent. i was not raised in church & none of the churches i have ever been a part of have ever practiced it.  in the past several years i have tried in small ways to turn my attention toward the season, but i found it was a little lonely; having a larger group of friends walking in the same direction, considering some of the same thoughts, at the same time, has been very encouraging, inspiring, and challenging in all kinds of ways.

one spiritual discipline that we incorporated into this season was the walking of a labryinth. a potentially powerful spiritual exercise that creates a space to connect with God & intentionally reflect on our spiritual journey.  i’ve only done it a few times, but this last one had some very significant meaning to me related to lent, to my journey.

this particular labryinth was painted on the ground inside a church.  it was a beautiful room, such sacred space, and as i entered in i felt God’s presence.  one thing that i noticed right away, though, were obvious cracks that ran across the beautiful path.  big cracks, little cracks, not all over the place but just enough that it was noticeable–and kind of irritating.  i wanted the labryinth to be clean, smooth, sanitized like the last one i had gone to.  i didn’t want to notice the cracks, the brokenness, the just-not-quite-right-ness they created.

but it wasn’t far into the labryinth journey that i had an overwhelming sense of needing to honor these cracks in the painted cement.  these cracks   these represent my own brokenness, the brokenness of my friends on the journey, the brokenness of the world.  they are part of my experience, no matter how desperately i sometimes want them to be filled in, painted & glossed over.

in this experience, i felt led to step on every single crack on the path.  to stop and honor them.

to thank God for the brokenness in my life.

to remember that it is through brokenness that i can then experience healing.

that Jesus was broken for me, for us, so i could be made more whole.

that the Christ story is not smooth & clean & sanitized.

that the brokenness of my journey is what draws me to God, to other broken followers along the way.

that God doesn’t leave us in brokenness but brings beauty from the ashes, hope from despair, joy from the mourning.

to me, lent is much more than just a stripping away, an examining of what’s hindering our freedom, our walk with God.  it is is also a time to remember what’s right, what’s good, what’s at the essence of our soul, and what we really believe about Jesus.

for me, it was powerful to honor the cracks, to remember that the brokenness is good because it is real.  and as much as i sometimes try to run away from it, i am a human being,–not God-and i live in a land of other broken and beautiful human beings.   Jesus wants to enter into my real life, our real lives, not our sanitized ones.  brokenness is the place where my humanity, our humanity & Jesus’ humanity & divinity all intersect.  it is the place where a bigger story is being told. where i’m reminded i’m more than my brokenness.  that resurrection always comes, new life seeping up from every crack i honored.

thank you, Jesus, for your brokenness, my brokenness, our brokenness.

may we honor the cracks on our journey

and as we travel this road toward easter may we begin to notice new life, signs of resurrection, creeping out of the cracks, light emerging from the darkness.