Reliance: Full to the Brim

Lent furnishes both a certain austerity to our spiritual journey and a certain abundance. The stories we share from Scripture through this time depict wilderness, longing, the hope of better times, and in all these things a sense of reliance on God. At the same time, the season the ancients called “the springtime of the soul” assures us of ample provision—something more than bread to sustain, a mother hen beneath whose wings we are secure, the soul feasting on God’s presence.

Karon O’Ferrall has crafted a bulletin board for the season, located in the Woodlawn hallway, that encompasses something of this duality of austerity and abundance. The visual incorporates scenes from the Lenten narrative—light shading into darkness, tempestuous Jerusalem, a palm procession awaiting us on Palm/Passion Sunday, and an elevated cross, overseeing the whole as though Christ the mother hen, wings outstretched to enfold the world in mercy, creation’s burden meeting God’s bounty.

Infusing the scene are three strands of light, the blessed Trinity, reminding us of the grace, love, and communion that accompany us through this journey toward Easter. e.e. cummings writes of “the ragged meadow of my soul.” What we discover in time, and with sufficient courage and attentiveness, is that the outer landscape of a rough-hewn world is mirrored in our own rugged depths. What we negotiate in life and history is what we contend with inside our own frames—the intricate work of learning to rely on God in all things, all ways, all seasons, not merely for sustenance, but for abundance.

In the shadow of your wings I sing for joy . . .

Grace and peace.