Lent 2024, Day 5: Pick up.

From Tricia Gates Brown writing at About, Religion, Doubt And Why They Matter:

A few years ago, I created a practice that brought Lent to life for me—a new way to commemorate or practice the season. You see, for me, Lenten imagery is strikingly about the darkness and dormancy preceding Easter, like the darkness and dormancy of winter that precedes Spring. A plant goes dormant in wintertime, but it does not die. In fact, the nourishment of winter is essential to its growth. Winter is when roots are strengthened, made ready for the coming vitality. The imagery and symbolism of Lent also points to the tomb, to the time between Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, when something mysterious happens. We don’t know quite what that mystery was, but the lacuna of the tomb prepared the way—the way for Easter, for the Jesus Movement.

So in Lent, we go deep into the roots, into a time of mystery and tomb, into nourishment and dormancy. For me, thinking of Lent as a time to focus on ‘sinfulness’ and giving things up as a kind of penance, didn’t resonate like thinking of Lent as a time to delve deep into the roots of a thing. Anticipating Lent, I started to ask: How do I want to go deeper this year? What calls me into a practice of deeper reflection?

The first year, I landed on quantum physics. I wanted to understand it a bit more. I wanted to delve deeper than I previously had into understanding the fundamental workings of the universe. So instead of ‘giving something up’ for Lent, I added something. Every few days I’d listen to an interview, audiobook, or lecture by a quantum physicist. It was a plunge, and it was fascinating. However cursorily, I nourished the roots of my understanding about this area of science; and some of what I learned permanently changed my view of myself, this world, and how the Divine works within it.

Another year for my Lenten practice I landed on music. I wanted to dive more deeply into relating to music, appreciating music in a way that impacted me profoundly. For Lent, I created new playlists and spent time music-listening in a new way—letting music wash over me and work its way in me. From that time on, my relationship to music has changed. I’m more likely to take time to hear music, to let it impact me in a way that’s therapeutic or emotional or spiritual—instead of simply playing music in the background of my life.”

Read the rest here. So dear Reader, have you felt called to add something to your Lenten devotions? To read, write, or walk? Hike? Study? Explore? Visit? Feel free to share.

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