Pilgrims of Lent

My feet are weary, dusty, from the journey of Lent already.
Ashes clinging, mind wandering –
I am so easily riddled with envy, so easily caught up in plan-making.
But that echo of ashes is calling me, throat and soul,
     back to this very moment
     to sing alleluia with each gentle step.
We are pilgrims, are we not?, seeking a tent with an open door,
seeking a soft carpet, a warm cup of tea,
a smile from a soft-eyed stranger.

Lent, the word itself speaks spring (in its old and German tongue),
yet its spirit speaks patience, fasting, waiting.
This season when the rest of the world
     swells with abundance,
     lengthens with life,
is the season when we, the pilgrims, empty ourselves of desire,
in order to learn even deeper who we really are,
to open even more to the very desires our blessed hearts hold.

I learn that sacredness does not make my days
less busy less boring less frayed less painful less scary less halting — no
but perhaps those days have become a little less me
and a little more You,
not in the intentional way one opens a door,
but in the unconscious way one tucks hair behind an ear.

Perhaps the sunrise is a cairn, marking the true way for a weary pilgrim,
who has begun to doubt the meaning of the journey.
And the sunset is a release, a reminder
that rest is part of the calling, too.

Pilgrims, do not close your ears if you hear a voice
whisper to you across the mountains.
And do not close your throats if you feel that faint and growing alleluia
within you.

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Filed under Lent 2012: Rend Your Hearts, My Faith Journey, Poetry, Spirituality

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