Hey, old friend! It's been awhile. Almost a year. How are you? I'm looking forward to seeing you next week when you arrive. I always love a good trek in the desert.
Funny thing about you, though -- you always kind of sneak up on me. Well, not exactly ... I always feel as if you sneak up on me, but the truth is, you are stirring in little corners of my mind for days and weeks before you arrive. I may tell everyone, "I have no idea what I'm doing for Lent this year - I haven't thought about it," but in truth, the thoughts are there, somewhere. A bit buried, a bit hidden, even from myself. They are mostly prayers -- sometimes spoken, sometimes silent -- for guidance about what I need to do. (What to give up? What new habit to establish? How to deepen my prayer life? Time to examine the maxim I say I want to live by, but so often fail at: "Lord, let me serve without counting the cost.")
So, I've got five days before you show up on my doorstep, Lent. Are you going to come bearing gifts? Surprises? You're good that way. I never know what to expect from you. Sometimes, I must admit, you exasperate me, especially when I've planned for us to have a particular kind of get-together, and then you turn the tables on me and bring up all sorts of stuff I hadn't planned to deal with during your visit. You know how to push my buttons. But that's okay. We're good enough friends that we can weather those storms. And, come to think of it, I always come away from your button-pushing feeling stronger. And better. Recharged. Huh. It's almost as if you knew it would happen that way. Maybe you aren't trying to be annoying.
Oh, Lent. You always give me something to think about. Can't wait to see you.
If you've been writing letters to Lent lately, too, or if you're just looking for ideas about the season, you can find lots of them in this series of posts: A Meaningful Lent: The Monstrously Long Post.