Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.Psalm 23:4
Have you ever walked in a desolate place by yourself? Or perhaps, walked in darkness alone without a shimmering light in your path?
It can be a little eerie. Your hearing appears to heighten and sounds that make you jump and your heart race surround you. The last thing you want is to be alone.
I’ve always considered Lent to be a journey I take by myself. Walking through the desert alone. Sorting out my own afflictions. Going to that place where I don’t want anyone to see what I am wrestling with, the deep shame within myself. It too can become eerie.
God doesn’t want us to take the journey alone. He offers us a companion, or many companions. Like a good shepherd, He gathers His flock, the Church, our community and walks with each of us, giving us courage and strength to go through this desert and exit into the springs of lifegiving water.
This 40-day journey is the same for all of us, our wrestling is the same – SIN, short falls in our faith, separation. It’s the foundation of our faith, the church, that Jesus set up centuries ago that helps us to find our way out of the desert.
During your travels through this desolate journey, searching your innermost self where the weeds have strangled the life of your faith, I invite you to journey with another in your church community. They are wrestling with the same desert you are. They are thirsty and famish as well, searching for the nourishment that only the lifegiving waters that Jesus can provide. We are made for companionship and no journey should be walked alone.