Dear Friends in Christ,
I was driving to Eureka from Salina when I came upon a car with an out of state tag. It was an SUV and it had a few stickers on the back window. One of them was a circle with a death’s head in the middle and a legend over the top that read: “I hate people.” Seeing things like that makes my heart sink.
Seeing that particular sticker led me immediately to Psalm 51:1 “Have mercy on me, O God.” With a little more than a tenth of the year’s days, we enter a season where we get busy being honest about ourselves. The sticker I saw clearly stated “hate” in a straight-forward and unambiguous way. Lovers are people who lose themselves in their loving and find themselves. Haters simply lose themselves. Their passion consumes them.
And that’s pretty much what we all see on the landscape. And what is needed is not an all-consuming self-hate. No. What we all need is to search our hearts for the times and opportunities to, well, reinvent ourselves more on the line of Jesus Christ than the way we’ve been going. There’s a famous ancient book called “The Imitation of Christ.” I’d say that the title is good enough for an example. Lent is a season of giving, fasting, and praying. One of the gifts we can give — one that is most needed — is love.
Time for you to experiment. Time for you to live in this wonderful gift and share it. I hope this work goes well with you.