by Vicki Melton
Lent is a time for reflection, study and discipline. Over the years I taken on many different practices for Lent. I have worked to develop better habits (the only one that stuck was fastening my seat belt). I’ve attended book studies, bible studies, discussion groups, and classes on a variety of topics. I’ve eaten a lot of delicious soup. Each of these has, in its own way, fed my need for growth and reflection, both as an individual and as part of the body of Christ. What does Lent mean to me? I guess it is a time to take stock of where I am, and why, and where I need to be.
This year Lent started during our camping trip through the southwest. We made no plan for study, reflection or self-improvement. We’ve heard Lenten sermons in three different churches. We’ve spent time with a friend struggling with the effects of debilitating illness, with a couple learning to live with memory loss after many years together. We’ve seen amazing sunrises over the desert, rock formations that seem impossible, laughed and shared meals with friends and family, heard a traditional story told by a Lakota Sioux elder as we gathered wood for her campfire. Now we’re in Mexico, an unplanned visit, sitting with our friend Maria Elena and her family as they pray the novena after the death of her husband Juan Manuel. It’s where we need to be.