Lenten Homily (an excerpt)

The awful, obvious truth of the matter is that any one of us could die on the way through Ruaka this afternoon, and yet we tend to forget how fragile life is, to pretend we’re in control and mostly invincible. We manage to convince ourselves that Youtube is better than walking under trees and that scolding our kids is more important than hugging them and that arguing about what we believe is more valuable than washing each others’ feet. There are plenty of things that snap us out of this folly eventually, and unfortunately most of them involve doctor’s reports and middle of the night phone calls and more grief than we think we can bear. There are wildernesses coming, you can be sure, and some of you are in the thick of them right now.
But for those of us mostly bumbling along in ordinary time, maybe we can choose to enter a mini-wilderness this Lent, clear away enough of the distractions and obsessions to see and feel the life we’re actually living, check in with the fragile soul hiding behind our ribs and our public faces, notice how lonely or sad or scared or disconnected we are.
Or maybe, just as importantly, see with a little more clarity how lonely or sad or scared or disconnected our kids are or our friends or our students or the teller at the bank. Maybe choosing to enter a wilderness of our own accord will reveal to us how many people are already wandering there without choosing. My guess is that if we’re brave enough to ask God this Lent to show us who is alone and starving in the wilderness, we’d find a steady stream of thirsty souls crossing our paths, and God-willing, maybe we’ll be fasting from the right things so that we actually are able to see them, hear them, bring them a drink of water.
And although I myself don’t yet know or understand what exactly it means, all the saints and mystics through the ages promise us that if we spend enough time there in the wilderness, eventually we may even meet Christ himself.

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