A poem inspired by several independent experiences of Ash Wednesday at Trinity this year, shared with me over the course of the week:
As we prepped for Lent, we were all very clever,
We had last dinners out in spite of the weather.
We emptied our houses of sweets and libations,
Dashing to the grocery store for kale and healthful rations.
Wednesday dawned, and we traipsed to church in the rains,
Our challenging food-fasts at the top of our brains.
We knelt in our pews, and the Holy Spirit hovered:
we heard, “Not food—it’s your heart I want covered.”
Look inside—what is it that’s holding you back?
Is it worry that makes you think you’re in lack?
Or maybe it’s anxiety that eats you up;
or achievement that runs over your cup.
Whatever the vice that puts up a wall
between you and your Lord, between you and us all—
God wants to take it away;
so loosen your grasp,
ask him when you pray.
As we sojourn through a Holy Lent,
Remember it’s not garments that’re rent—
It’s our hearts which need loving, honest evaluation;
For God living in us, it’s the best preparation.