Lenten discernment

In the opening narrative of her chapter on Harriet Powers in the book In the Sanctuary of Women, Jan Richardson asks, “What does God the Creator desire to make known in the world through the work of our hands?”

As I sat in the comfy chair by my window in Wisconsin, I pondered that question all weekend, and as I enter the season of Lent, I am continuing to explore this theme as it relates to my faith journey and the faith journey of Jesus.  It would be easy to take this question and make a list of who I am or what I do as a person of faith, but the deeper part, the piece for discernment has been the first half of the statement, “What does God the Creator desire to make known.”

I will be the first to admit, that sometimes, God’s plan for me is harder than one I would choose.  My spiritual director would attest that I have proclaimed, “Dude, really!?” many times when questioning God’s call for me. It is hard work to live in challenge, struggle, or pain and continue to be a light bearer or kindness sharer in the world.

And yet, what I am reminded of on this second morning of Lent is that in the midst of struggle, God’s plan reveals itself, God the Creator’s desire is made known.  And because God is my Creator, I know that something good, something pure, and something right will come through the work of my hands (even if I do throw them up in the air at times and ask, “Dude, really?!”)

So today, as I enter the second day of Lent, I am continuing to discern Jan Richardson’s question and how, through my Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and self-denial, will I learn more about my Creator’s desires for my work in this world.

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