The Place of Our Brokenness

Here in this season of Lent, we are so aware of brokenness in our world, in society, in our relationships, in our selves. And that’s the amazing thing about God’s presence in the world. God transforms the brokenness that we all have … even Christ’s brokenness on the cross.

God, the Great Transformer, the Great Healer, weaves us back together so that the place of our wound, the place of our brokenness becomes the place of our greatest strength.

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Repent and Transform

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I skipped yesterday’s word in Alive Now’s Lent Photo-a-Day spiritual practice. The word was “Repent.”

Today’s word, “Transform,” is so much easier for me to illustrate. I thought about the transformation that’s going on around me as Spring arrives. The daffodils started blooming three weeks ago. And because the weather has been just the right combination of warm days and cool nights, it seems that all the flowering trees are going to be blooming at the same time. From the star magnolias to the redbuds to the flowering pears. It’s going to be a wonderland here this week. (And a challenging location for those who suffer with allergies.)

But back to the word I skipped. “Repent” is a hard word to think about because it reminds me of the mistakes I’ve made, of the ways I’ve hurt other people, of the many times I think only of myself. Metanoia, from the Greek, means “a transformative change of heart.”

I may avoid it, but it’s what I want, truly, for myself, for this broken world. That I, that we, might have a change of heart that makes us better people, a more compassionate society, a more kind and just world.

Come, Holy Spirit.
Blow through my hardened heart
And transform it
Into a heart of love,
Of Kindness,
Of Compassion.

Come, Holy Spirit.
Blow through our broken world
And transform it
Into a world of caring,
Of peace,
Of justice.

Ignite our repentance
That we might turn toward you
And be transformed.

 

A note from Beth: Please join me in celebrating my new book, Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings. You are invited to an online party on March 17 at 7:30 (CDT). If you can’t be there at that time, please register for the free webinar, and a link to view the interview/party will be sent after the event.

Ash Wednesday Blessing

frozen bush

Bless this day of ashes,
This space, this pause.

May we be open,
May we be honest,
May we be mindful.

May we be patient,
May we be quiet,
May we be gentle.

Facing fear,
Facing sorrow,
Facing joy,
Facing pain.

This life is yours.
This life is a gift.
We return it to you.

Bless this day of ashes,
This space, this pause.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

Welcome, Spring

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Long nights and cold days
Fallow fields and dormant trees
A lenten journey of the inner world

I open my eyes and see
Light. Warmth breaking through

Promise of new life
Coming out of death
Resurrection

Welcome, beauty
Welcome, buds
Welcome, newness
Inside and all around me

You, God, source of Hope
Source of Healing
Source of Life

Welcome, welcome
Make your home in me


Photo by Beth A. Richardson. Tulip tree bloom with the windows of The Upper Room Chapel in the background.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

A Grain of Wheat

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Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
– John 12:24 (NRSV)

God of Justice
God of Mercy
Let me be that tiny grain

Grant me patience
In my waiting
Grant me courage
For the dying that must come

And, whether or not
I see the beauty of the golden field
Let me know deeply
Let me know truly
That I have served you well

I am yours

Ashes to Ashes

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I’ve never been that comfortable
With Ash Wednesday
With Lent
With self-examination and repentance
And being reminded of my mortality

But the one I follow was all about truth-telling
And justice
And righteousness
Rather than being comfortable

I am not that One
But I am made of clay and dust
Human to the core

May the ashes today
Remind me of my createdness
My calling to be who I am
Who I was crafted to be
Who I am becoming
As my heart, my mind, my clay is shaped
Molded by the Creator

I am yours, Loving God
Show me the way

On the Eve of Ash Wednesday

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On the Eve of Ash Wednesday
Of Spring and new life
Of the Lenten journey

I am overwhelmed with too much
Too many tasks, responsibilities, voices
Too many distractions and demands

Take this frozen and tired soul, Loving God
Nurture within me sustaining life
Coax from me only that which is needed

Let me shed the darkness
That I might reach toward your light

Let me empty cluttered spaces
That there might be a home for you

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,
On this Eve of Ash Wednesday

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.