By Kit Danley
Today marks the beginning of the season of Lent, the 40 days before Easter. Lent is traditionally associated with “giving things up” and “giving to those in need”. As non-traditional Christians, Lent is being re-discovered by us fueled by the desire for a 40 day journey into the proverbial desert to follow Jesus, focusing on our heart’s deepest longings to know Him but also to address our silly and off times sinful compromises that rob us of joy.
This year Neighborhood Ministries has created a poetry companion this year to join our longings with some artists who beckon to us to go deeper in, to take this Lenten journey seriously. These muses have spent the better parts of their lives thinking about the journey of following Jesus and how that implicates the way we live. I’ve been spending some time thinking about the artist as mystic, as prophet.
One year before his death, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke meditating upon the role of the artist penned these memorable words: “It was within the power of the creative artist to build a bridge between two worlds, even though the task was almost too great for a man… Everywhere transience is plunging into the depths of Being. It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves, so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its essence can rise again, invisible, inside of us. We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the visible, to store it in the great golden hive of the invisible.”
So please join us this season as we listen in the deep places. May we live differently because we have taken time to wrestle with our followership of the One who gave his life that we might live differently.
He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
Download the poetry companion here.
Kit Danley is a board member of CCDA and is the ExecutiveDirector of Neighborhood Ministries in Phoenix, AZ.