Lenten Devotion: Friday, February 28

Psalm 95Psalm 31Psalm 35Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32Philippians 4:1-9John 17:9-19

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4

In Education for Ministry class, we reflect about brokenness and redemption. I have been reflecting how I isolate myself when I feel broken, instead of bringing my pain to the foot of the Cross. Sometimes I try to artificially sanitize or hide my dark emotions before I pray, as if fearful that I might disappoint a teacher or parent. I feel guilty that, by being negative or downcast, I am not honoring God’s gift of life. How can I praise the Lord, when I do not feel loving or grateful? When I feel miserable and lost? Perhaps, sometimes, I cannot. But, again and again, I realize that God wants all parts of us: the good, the bad, the ugly, the ashamed. God loves us in our brokenness, knows our fragility. The hairs on our head are numbered. God, as unconditional love, surrounds the pain and the fear with the pure light of overwhelming compassion. When we open up, God will answer, and deliver us.

Once, when I was particularly filled with fear, I became angry with God for the uncertainties and difficulties of this life. I was distraught, and pounded my fists on a pillow shouting, “God, I need answers now!” Within a minute, a friend called saying, “God told me to read this to you.” It was a devotional text by a Saint, which contained just what I needed to hear. Where we are cracked and broken, the light meets the dark. When we cry for help, He will answer. As we allow the Divine Presence to enter our hearts, the light of the Lord is always there to deliver us.

“Lord, Lord, open unto me, light for my darkness.”
Howard Thurman