Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages; saying to the prisoners, “Come out,” to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” They shall feed along the ways, on all the bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.
And I will turn all my mountains into a road, and my highways shall be raised up. Lo, these shall come from far away, and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene.
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
At this time in the Midwest, potholes are everywhere and they are the worst. Potholes remind me of all the brokenness that surrounds me. They make me uncertain, they make me play defense, and it makes for quite a bumpy ride. It leads me to think that this is it, this is my life, this is my reality…just one big bumpy ride.
Each year around this time, I fall into a state of desolation and question everything. Even though I know it has something to do with my environment (less sunlight, winter chill), I can’t help but notice everything that’s wrong with the world. My life gets put on pause like my frozen pipes.
But as things begin to thaw from the frost of winter, so does my heart and mind. Hope begins to drip into my soul as things like time and the season begin to change. Lent itself has a way of guiding me “besides springs of water,” making visible the signs all-around of the living God who is so desperately trying to break into my life, to remind me that I have not been forgotten. And just then, as these signs come pouring into my life, I begin to see what’s right with the world once again.
—Mark Chang is a Theology Teacher and the Director of the New Teacher Induction Program at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.
In the Midst of Winter
In the midst of Winter, when the flowers of spring still lie hidden in the earth, when leaves are off the trees, and the world can seem bleak
remind us that Easter is but a short time away.
And when in our lives we feel as if we are experiencing a season of winter, reach out to us with the power of your resurrection so that we may feel the warmth of your love and see your light that alone can take away the darkness of our soul.
—Excerpt from a prayer by Cal Wick