I’m a big fan of Lent. One of the reasons that Christianity is still compelling for me – despite all the baggage and the politics and everything else – is the cross. If we can take seriously the reality of suffering and violence and sin and death, and not turn away, and still manage to believe in resurrection after all of that, then maybe our theology has something to say. So conceptually, this season of turning toward the cross is something I can really get behind.
But I’ve had a really hard time deciding how to observe the season this year. I feel like I need to do something significant. I was really drawn to Landon Whitsitt’s suggestions, and I thought about fasting, but I don’t think at this point that would actually serve the purpose of bringing me closer to God.
I was also really touched by my friend Kellyann’s post “On not celebrating Ash Wednesday. ” She mentioned this song “Beautiful Things,” and those lyrics are just what I need this year:You make beautiful things/You make beautiful things out of dust. You make beautiful things/You make beautiful things out of us.
I haven’t been doing much art lately. I’ve also been feeling pretty disconnected spiritually. Those things are probably related, knowing myself for 30ish years.
So this year, I’m doing the #rethinkchurch Photo-a-Day Challenge. For now I created an Instagram account, but I also want to use this as a motivation to pull out my fancy camera (and maybe my not-fancy camera), and sort out my software issues so I can actually get to all my old photos and process new ones.
I’m also going to clean off my art table (which still has half-finished Christmas cards all over, and now it’s accumulating a second layer of paperwork I haven’t dealt with yet…), and I’m going to pull out my sketchbook. I will make time for contemplative art-prayer.
This feels good and hopeful and holy.
Are some other folks doing the photo challenge? I’d love to hear about creative or unique Lenten practices!