Lent invites us to share Jesus’ journey into the wilderness: to step beyond the familiar landscape of our lives, and allow our reality to rest in God.
Wilderness begins to put us in touch with our own wildness. One way or another we present an ordered face to the world; we are shaped by the expectations other have of us and we have of ourselves. And as much as this is often necessary and has the capacity to bring good, this is not our truth. Our unacknowledged fears, needs and desires can drive us – even oppress us.
Prayer of the wilderness is not our asking God to restore our notion of order. but allowing God to meet us in our disorder and remake us from within. It often feels clumsy and inarticulate. This isn’t prayer of performance; it’s prayer of vulnerability; prayer of simple need and desire. Lent invites us to let our raw and awkward reality rest in a safe place – in God, who created this reality and loves it. We are often our own harshest judges; we attempt to shut the door on what we do not like about ourselves. God, on the other hand, rejects nothing about us, and desires to integrate all we are into a free and loving wholeness. Rather than fret about all we lack or get trapped in self-judgement, we are invited to go on resting our reality in the compassion of God who is working to make us free, wild and loving.