A year ago Nathan and I spent a long weekend in Rome. We arrived in Italy blown by a storm and were met in the airport by the first signs of what was to come. We stood in a line waiting to be filmed by a thermal camera, COVID 19 had arrived in Europe and the strangest year of most of our lifetimes had begun. Plans and hopes for the year ahead were quickly cast aside as the “new normal’ set in, for many this meant loss of employment, loss of community and even the loss of loved ones. The beginning of lent 2021 comes with a spark of hope but still a great deal of uncertainty and fear for many, but perhaps more than ever it is a season to let go of what has been and pray for what will be…
Today I burn the things which pull me back into the old me.
The shame and guilt I feel for failures past,
Things I know I should have done better,
Things I know I should never have done.
Things I did in anger or selfishness,
Without due thought for others or rightful care.
Things I did in fear or panicked haste,
Without due thought to unforeseen consequences.
Things I did in response to my own nagging doubts and demons,
Without due thought for where they may take or leave me.
I burn the obsessions and preoccupations that refuse to let me grow into the me that you see,
The pattern behaviours and co-dependencies that keep me anchored,
The wounds and tears that I cannot allow to heal,
The scabs I delight in picking off before their time.
The habits and addictions that I hold to from fear and insecurity.
I burn the desires I know are harmful,
The ambitions that persuade me that it’s ok to stand on others,
That allow me to minimise the gifts of others for my gain.
That emerge from greed, pride and competitiveness.
I burn these things and I mark myself with ash,
As a welcome to true vulnerability and humility.
In the ashes there is a new life,
life dependent on love, on simple truth and righteousness.
I commit to this life,
Free from guilt and shame,
Free from anger and fear,
Free from greed and pride.
Free to grieve and mourn,
Free to hurt and heal,
Free to love and grow.
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We are a diverse group of Christian freelancers who have collaborated to curate daily reflections during Lent. Each week will have a theme, explored 6 different ways on 6 days.
Andy Campbell – Coach, Trainer, Artist, Poet and occasional square peg. Andy helps people work out who they are, and what their next step might be.
James Fox Robinson – Creative, 3rd Order Franciscan, Dreamer, Professional Nuisance. James is passionate about curating spaces for people to engage with God’s story, physically and digitally.
Lucie Hutson – teacher and learner, created and creator, speaker and pioneer. Lucie is passionate about helping people to wander and wonder in the world around us.
Hasna Khatun – Ordained Pioneer Minister in the C of E. Teacher and Professional Actor/Presenter/Voiceover. Hasna lives to eat and laugh sparingly… She’d like to write an alternative script for Barbie, Ken and Cindy and adores the people who don’t fit in.
Sally Nash – Author, Researcher, Educator, Priest, Mentor, Spiritual Accompanier. Sally is passionate about helping people fulfil their potential and make a bigger difference in their world.
Mark Berry – Pioneer, Teacher, Speaker and Poet. Mark helps groups and individuals break boundaries, engage with culture and grow community.