Lent can be a season filled with paradox, which may in fact seem fitting as the Bible relies heavily on meanings that are revealed through incongruities.
As we engage with our community partners for Lent, we are asking them to submit prayer requests that represent the journeys of their clients and staff. These prayers will be included in our Prayer Vigil during Holy Week.
Professionals often sacrifice much to walk along side those who have experienced, trauma, loss, hardship, violence, prolonged periods of great stress, and more. However, many of our community's outreach representatives and volunteers will be the first to share that they are daily inspired by the stories of the same clients who have experienced life's challenges and later used their trials to support others who are traversing similar treacherous paths. Those with "lived experience" can be highly sensitive and aware of hidden potential and hope in the midst of pain or difficulty. Surely, blanket statements need not be made about the necessity of trials to build character or grit. Perhaps we can say that through grace, God can often find ways for us to be a blessing. Once again we are reminded, that in Christ, there is no us or them.
Saint Augustine of Hippo prayed these words:
God of our life,
there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely,
and our souls have lost their courage.
Flood the path with light,
turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music;
give us the sense of comradeship
with heroes and saints of every age;
and so quicken our spirits
that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life,
to your honor and glory.
Let my soul take refuge. Amen.
St. Augustine of Hippo
On this Lenten journey, may the Holy Spirit be present with each of us as we engage in conversations that open us up to listening for brave music, companionship, and love.
JaneT JoRdan Altmeyer
Building a foundation of supportive relationships in The City of Churches, moving forward as a community bolstered by faith, driven by purpose, inspired by Christ's love.