Author: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v. 17 ‘a broken and contrite heart…you will not despise’
As I sat down this year to contemplate our Lenten texts, I felt a sinking and creeping reminder that this will be our third Lenten season of the pandemic. It was this time of the year in 2020 when everything shut down, and our collective lives changed irreversibly. How foolish we were, thinking our sacrifices would be short-lived and borne together. That realization somewhat zapped my creative energy; what new thing could I even have to say for Lent this year? Forgive me for my morose musing and remembering. I know it is much easier to pretend this arduous season is behind us, to pretend that death doesn’t surround us still, and to try to envision yet another new way forward. But for many of us, things do not feel over. I try to cope by giving myself small promises of hope: ‘You’ll feel less anxious when Emi [my daughter] can be vaccinated, too.’ Or ‘It will get easier when you can welcome your community inside again and when the freeze-shelter can reopen.’ Or ‘When the number of deaths each day go down, you’ll feel less worried about the vulnerable people in your life.’ Like a too-long Lenten season, I sit here today in my pain, worry, grief, and even my penitence. And I yet wait for hope to dawn, even as it still feels far off and unrealized. And that’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay right now—God is with us when things are not okay, too. We do not have to put some beautifully worded theological spin on our hurting hearts to be acceptable to God. No, beloved, our broken hearts, God does not despise. So as we embark on yet another Lenten season together, and I find myself still hurting, still waiting, and still worrying, I am thankful that my broken heart is enough today.
Prayer Accept my broken heart, O God, hold it tenderly and care for me.