So far, this has been a more painful Lent than usual. Lung inflammation, joint pain – ah, lupus! The twinges, aches, and stabs sure make pain immediately present. And one of the things I’m trying to do when they occur is bring Lent into the present, too.
So often, pain takes us out of where we are, as if we’re on the sidelines of life, even if we’re in the middle of a crowd. Pain draws us inward and can easily become the focus of thought and prayer. In contrast to this, I’m including pain in the prayer dialogue of Lenten reflection. In other words, I’m aware of pain, but quickly move to acknowledge it as one part of being human – and something that Our Lord experienced too. It’s much like a conversation with a friend, where greater closeness is forged by sharing like experiences. Something in common. Something that enables one person to relate better to another, to understand, and to feel support.
In bringing pain into the ongoing conversation with God, and as a deeper relationship is forged, grace springs up and flourishes. It’s no longer “pain and me” and “prayer and God,” but rather “Pain, me, and God equals grace.”
And the more grace for our journey, the more blessed the way!
Blessings for the day,