The Lenten season is a season of dying in preparation for death. Death is always the precursor to resurrection life and so we choose the cold embrace of the dying that Lent leads us towards. We find that we need help to die. And so the Holy Spirit comes and searches our hearts, seeking out intents and desires. What a precious friend! We lay ourselves open and bare before Him, exposed to Him who loves us, and ask that He do what is needed.
Jesus says to me, "Do not murder." How quickly I agree with my friend, "I have observed this since my youth."
And in the pause that follows, I sink into the love in His eyes and begin to see as He sees and feel the wounds that He feels.
Wounds that I have inflicted upon another, the least of these, landing on Him. My sideways glance and raised eyebrows silently signaling my contempt, my anger. If looks that could kill . . .
My secret labeling and marginalizing of people I don't deem worthy of my time - or God's.
My deep disgust, masked by a cold, smiling face offered to one whose sin marks him detestable, if not unforgivable. At least to my way of thinking.
My seething, simmering rage, bubbling just below the surface like some stinking mud hole, splattering pain on anyone who happens by at the wrong time.
My cold, deadly, tightly controlled, carefully harnessed fury, brought out of hiding when I feel threatened, or slighted, or hurt, or weak, or . . .
"Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh upon me. Search my heart for all of the secret ways and hidden sins which I can barely acknowledge even when I see them in the mirror. Give me the courage to lift them up. Release the poisons by your sweet, healing, soothing, Presence."