Today is the start of Lent for many observers, and I plan at least to pay attention to the tradition. I plan also to be considering it a time to add rather than subtract—to gain rather than “give up” things.
Of course, as the productivity video we watched said, “Saying yes to one thing means saying no to another”—or to many others. I want to use this principle in this reverse, positive, way:
I want to say, “Yes!” to two important things to pursue—the pursuit of which will almost surely crowd out some non-essentials that waste my time.
One is healing. Last month I finally got around to deciding on my “One Word” focus for 2019. I chose “Heal.”
I need healing. Do you? I don’t just mean from the flu, or back trouble, or a broken leg. You can’t live very long in this world without accumulating a lot of wounds, disablements, and maladies that need healing in a number of areas: physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual. I’ve become painfully aware of some that may have been hanging around undetected for some time. I want to deal with them in the company of God.
My other objective is a new and different enjoyment of the gospel of John. I expect this to interweave with my “healing” goals. How so?
In my last study of the book, I saw a theme that repeats throughout: Jesus and_____. The blank stands for people He interacted with. This gospel is full of them: Particular groups of them, like the Pharisees or the Samaritans, and individuals, often from those groups. Once I got past the first (amazingly beautiful) chapter (which I think I could hang out in for a hundred years), I began to see a repeating pattern of Jesus interacting with groups in one way, and one-to-one with members of those groups in another. As I recall, the one-to-one interactions held the greater riches, the deeper realms of truth, and reached to the particular person’s greatest needs. I am curious as to how much his words, in either case, related to some kind of healing. I suspect a lot!
If you want to follow along on this particular path, and would like a simple chart you can fill in with your own observations and keep for your own reference throughout, let me know in the comments and I’ll email you the document. However, you may want to take an entirely different tack. Take a look at Dawn Paoletta’s great suggestions in her own start-of-Lent and Journal-through-John blog post.
And whether you formally observe Lent or not, may this season reveal beautiful truths from and about Christ, and bring you whatever healing you need most.