“Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.” -Joel 2:12-13
The above is the beginning of the lectionary texts read on Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season in the Liturgical Year. Just as Lent calls us to reflection, prayer, preparation, and contrition, so does this passage.
It is unfortunate that the spirit of the Lenten season is lost after the feasting of the Resurrection. Apathy, flippancy, and complacency are quick to return to our actions and words. Our prayers become misdirected and we slip into a dangerous human optimism.
The goal of my writings here-whether they be poems, meditations, metaphors, or think pieces-is simple: to rend my heart, to tear it open, to acknowledge the brokenness of this world. Just as during Lent we reflect upon our sin and our fallen nature as humans, so I aim to identify that in this world and in my own life.
With each piece I write I hope to cultivate a conversation about the state of the world which we are in and about the hope of the coming kingdom. It may seem as though the things I write about span (perhaps too many) spectrums-I write about depression, anxiety, Christianity, nature, and so many other things-but to me they are inextricably linked. There is no part of this world that the Kingdom of God has not touched.
So now I ask you to rend your heart:
Look at the brokenness in your life, acknowledge your sin, and pray with a contrite spirit. As you begin to shift your eyes from the inordinate amount of optimism we hold about human nature, when you truly see the fracture that resulted from selfishness, the magnificence, splendor, and majesty of God shines brighter.
It pierces your heart and cuts through the scars and the bandages you have tried to place over its wounds. As your interior life shifts from yourself to God so will your actions, for we are building for the Kingdom of God that began its in-breaking at the Incarnation.
Rend your heart and allow God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.