Weekly Feature

2018-03-07 / Lifestyles


Lent a time to reflect on forgiveness
Clarence Fire Chaplain

My friend the Rev. Imani Olear, in her new book, “True Identity,” starts off by reflecting on the challenge of forgiveness — for self and others.

As she reflects on her own journey and path and forgiveness praxis, she concludes that both the ability to dwell in forgiveness and the understanding of our true identity as a child of God created to love are wrapped and wound together.

She reminded me of that great classic church song, “Take My Life,” when we are invoking our God and our self and our actions of life to wind together unmistakably connected and in conjunction so that we beat as one heart.

So how could we not be forgiveness and love all the time? Because we aren’t perfect.

Insert the opportunity of Lent.

As Jesus is showing and teaching all that is good, and loving and forgiving, he finally tells the boys that he’s on his way to give the ultimate from the ultimate — his life. And Pete jumps in and says, “Say it ain’t so!”

Then Lent happens. Jesus responds to his follower, “But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’” He’s not yelling at him. He’s inviting him. Jesus knows Peter is not perfect but wants him to find his true identity.

Get behind me. Get in line with holy, not worldly. Get back outside of your world-self and watch for ways to live into your sacred-self: your true identity — truly imperfect and yet truly loved.

So, as we move through Lent — which we’re in the middle of, if you couldn’t tell by all the ash-laden foreheads a couple of weeks ago and drastically increasing fish fries — we’re invited to watch. And through that, take on every moment, find forgiveness, see love becoming new life that has been there, right in you, since your beginning.

Lent is a gift to take that journey toward forgiveness of yourself and others. As I ran on the bike path through the soccer center last week, toward the sunrise, my mantra became, “I am here. I am just me. I am imperfect, but I am blessed.” You’d be amazed by how many miles I have to run before that sinks into my own soul.

May the blessing of the Lenten journey be a time like no other to find that one that you already are through the Lord, who made you that way.

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