In this first full week of lent, I am sitting in my office bathed in my own tears. The agony of an injustice to someone dear to me is overcoming my thoughts, my breath, my every move. I feel paralyzed as to carry out my normal routine. Through this journey that I have traveled with him these past 8 months, I have learned much about him, about myself, my faith and prayer life.
An innocent man, falsely accused of an atrocity decades ago. One day he is leading a flock and training young souls to be Christ-like, and the next, he is cast aside by his fellow brothers and associates, as if he has developed a contagious disease.
In walking the craggy journey with him, I realized the times in my past when I was not entirely honest. When I withheld the truth to meld with popular consensus. My opinions were often somewhat marred by the popular, and imbued in me was the ember of shame for not speaking the truth. If this had happened in those days…..perhaps I would also be throwing stones.
As I grew into my adult body, the love of Christ removed that ember and transformed it from shame to love. I began to see others through His eyes and it caught me by surprise. No longer could I be content to agree with the consensus if I knew a measure of truth was missing. I had to speak up. I had to defend the undefendable.
And so today, my promise to my friend grows and I know my mission, but I am uncertain how to fulfill this pledge. My person lenten journey will not be a simple giving up something, but in giving my entire self to prayer and fasting; and in watching and waiting for God’s lead in what to do next.