During March we journey through the season of Lent, a time of self-examination and preparation for the wonder of Easter.  Usually we talk about giving up something for the period.  We try to focus upon walking closer to God and improving our understanding of what it means to live as a Christian.  Unfortunately, our focus tends to be directed only upon our inner self.  What would happen if we began to look upon how we live our lives in relationship with others?  Who might we meet?

Maybe we would meet the man who thought the only way he could have control over others was by taking advantage of them.  He needed to climb down out of the tree to find true control.  How about the woman so desperate to be loved that she jumped from empty relationship to empty relationship.  She needed to offer water to a stranger from another religion to find real love.  Or maybe we will find the foreign woman in a foreign land daring to confront national prejudice to ask for justice for her children and because she set aside her fear she found true justice.  What about the man rejected by his community and was so disturbed that he lived in a cemetery and found wholeness in the approach of a complete stranger, who spoke to him and touched him.

There may also be the political leader who knows all about wielding power, yet finds he has no power when his daughter dies.  The woman who has reached nearly the end of hope fighting a lifelong disease risks one more chance in a leap of faith.  Maybe we run into grieving travelers who lost all their hope and then discover that hope never dies.

All of these people can be found in the ministry of Jesus recorded in the gospels.  But then we might also run into them in the reflection we encounter in our mirror.  They could appear as our family or friends.  We might work next to them or even be the stranger standing in line with us at the grocery.  Show them the wonder of the Gospel by offering the same love that Jesus offered the same people during his life.  This will become a Lenten journey that we will want to make every day of every year, whether it is Lent or not.

Shalom, Darrell