Lent begins: Lent in Texas.
The flowers are already creeping upwards as the rain falls down, down, down.
Dry stream-beds swell. Torrents rage for a day, then die again. It’s a sporadic, impetuous start to Spring.
Lent comes each time the year spins itself in full circles. Each year I fear yet long to enter the story of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Each year he meets me in the dark nights of Lent.
But this time, something different is in the air. This year, for the first time, I look back on my life and see a build-up of accusation. I have boldly and repeatedly put God on trial and declared him wanting in my life. I have charged him with careless indifference to my suffering. To the world’s suffering. He has remained silent. I have also brokenly and ceaselessly asked God why he is so distant from me, why there is such coldness within.
Now the accusation is breaking beneath truth. The rain of these past days has been all of Jeremiah 2 – 5. It’s a deluge of divine tears over a loveless, wayward heart. I brought charges against him; he brings the same against me. Mine were shrill; his are gentle. They cut straight to my heart, a heart that has not broken for a long, long time.
So Lent begins. It begins with shattering… and the sound of gentle rain.