It is not even noon yet, and I am aware of how much I need the grace of repentance that Lent invites me into on today’s Ash Wednesday. I have lost my patience with the children you have entrusted me with – the souls I am to be nurturing into faith and repentance. What a high calling! And an impossible one.
Could it be that my greatest Lenten fast will start with admitting I have no strength to parent?
Could it be that the deepest Lenten repentance will happen as I lead my children into it by example (and necessity)?
Could it be that engaging in mercy and justice for me, in this season of parenting littles, will mean that I show mercy first to these two who are entirely dependent upon me for all of their needs?
Could it be that promoting justice begins with repentance of the entitlement I feel about the sacrifices I make on their behalf?
I turn away from such a prayer, but you invariably call me back. You show me a love that has loved me in my low estate, and a love that fights on my behalf for justice, and a love that grows to match (and overcome) the strength of my rebellious will. Lord Jesus, teach me to love this Lenten season. Lord Jesus, teach me how you have first loved me (and how you always FIRST love me … this love is what shapes and propels my love for my children).
In the name of the Father of all compassion and the God of all mercy, I beg you for Lenten grace this Ash Wednesday.