by Christine Sine
Yesterday I completed my Lenten garden combining succulents with broken pieces of slate to emphasize my Lenten theme “Breaking Down Walls For Lent”. My intention is to remove one of the walls each week, break it into small pieces and sprinkle them over the garden. This exercise will provide a focus for my Lenten reflections.
Each week will have a specific focus. I want to reflect on what walls stop me:
- loving God with my whole heart.
- loving myself and who God has created me to be.
- loving my neighbors with an open and accepting heart.
- loving God’s creation and being a responsible steward of all God has created.
In the final week of Lent I will seek God’s guidance for the year ahead – how can I draw the lessons I have learned in the wilderness into my life in a way that will enrich me, my relationship to God, to others and to God’s creation?
It might be a lot to ask of this Lenten season but I hope you will walk with me and discover more of God on your Lenten journey too.
Each week I will ask myself the following questions:
What are the walls that confine me?
What is behind my wall and how will breaking it down change that?
What do I need to do before I break down this wall?
Who can help me break down my wall?
What have I already learned?
Reflecting on my garden this morning has already taught me a lot.
Some of the walls I can’t see over. I can only imagine what is on the other side and it is easy to imagine something gross and evil lurks there. I want to strengthen the wall and protect myself from these evil influences.
Alternatively I can imagine that the grass is greener on the other side. I want to move the wall so that I can have easy access to its hidden riches. Then it occurred to me – maybe those riches I want to grab hold of belong to someone else. Maybe the wall protects them from my influence and desire to have what does not belong to me.
Some of the walls I can see over but I can’t reach what is on the other side. Again I want to pull down these wall without thought to their purpose. Walls can protect plants from wind and storm. They can provide a warm surface that radiates heat to tender plants. Or support vines that like to climb. What would happen if I broke down the wall?
This breaking down of walls is complicated. It requires a lot of research and soul searching investigating a wall’s purpose and the effect my breaking it down will have on myself and on others. I need to examine my motivation in destroying it and listen to both those who want to strengthen it and those who want to see it demolished before I act.
What Is Your Response?
As you begin your Lenten journey what are the questions God has laid on your heart? What will prompt you to walk each day with Christ into the wilderness to learn to follow him with your whole heart?