To Love As GOD Loves

Shaft of morning light (detail), McKenzie River Trail, Mary Sharon Moore


Approx. read time: 1:40 min.

Looming large on my calendar is the start of Lent, a season that looms large on the soul.

I think I should prepare, establish a rhythm or some practice to give me entry into this time of reflection and conversion of heart.

And a phrase comes to me, which feels more like an assignment. I push back some, but the phrase remains: Sit inside the sin of the world.

Instinctively I know what this phrase means. And yet, I have no idea what will be asked of me.

Sitting inside the sin of the world reminds me of the words of Moses, in Deuteronomy, about God’s people, who roamed “in a wasteland of howling desert.”

In 2024 we too sit inside “a wasteland of howling desert.” We sit inside a world that has lost its way. Daily we witness tragedies of human brokenness, and we sit powerless to stop the madness and make things different.

So, I turn to Wikipedia, and print the images of the world’s powerful ones who hold the options of Life and Death over millions of people. These images, on my prayer table, seem like baseball trading cards, except drenched in vitriol, venom, and blood.

My heart breaks as the core of our shared Humanity corrodes and falls away.

I would not be the first to sit inside the sin of the world: not the first to not turn away, to not run away, but to intercede from within the dark spaces of barbarity. 

Sacrificial Love has opened the door already, and led the way, in the person of Jesus, crucified Lord and risen Christ. He shows me how Sacrificial Love is done: Absorb the violence, breathe out Forgiveness, breathe out Love, for Humanity in all of its tragic brokenness.

This is not the Lenten theme I had in mind. But here it is. It claims me. I am impelled to be utterly honest in my prayer, and I’m pretty sure my heart will be utterly broken.

This Lent I will carry the world’s burden of grief, and lean hard into my only hope, which is the power that flows from Jesus’ resurrection, a power that penetrates into the most hidden and needful places.

Shall we, together, carry the burden and lean hard into hope? I welcome your thoughts.

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