I think maybe I’m part Druid or Celt or something like that, this need of mine to live according to the seasons, to float on the rhythm of the seasons not just of nature but of the church year. To bob along, oh now it’s winter so I must retreat and rest, hibernate in the house, reading and cooking. Oh, it’s Lent so I must add a discipline, be more disciplined, seek my God with more intent, listen for God with more intent. I will bob along in this until the warmer weather takes me outside and shows me crocuses and the early daffodils, grasses growing in our meadow, more light, warmer sun on my face. “Point the top of your head into the sun 15 minutes a day,” said my endocrinologist. “I know your dermatologist won’t agree but you need the sun, your vitamin D level is low.” “Point yourself toward the Light,” says Lent. Now I will hibernate, even with low vitamin D levels, until I can turn and feel the sun warm on my head.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and so now it is Lent. Lent and winter fit together. Gray skies, less sun and warmth; where is the Light? “Be still in your overstuffed chair, read the daily offices, cook when you must, kiss the cat who is dying, watch and wait, watch and wait,” say the saints and spirits. And so I do, and so we do, as we journey toward the Light.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the
observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance;
by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and
meditating on God’s holy Word.
(Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, pg. 265)
People often see evangelism as a warm weather sport for extroverts. I suppose it has those moments. At the last church where I worked I loved being out on the sidewalk on a beautiful Sunday welcoming people to church and chatting with passers-by, inviting them into church. Getting some vitamin D into the top of my head. But evangelism also has a winter season, one more suited for introverts perhaps. It’s also the Lenten season when we focus inward so that we can again focus outward when the Light changes and comes again. “Be still in your overstuffed chair or at your prayer desk,” say the saints and spirits, “seek God and yourself, be still and know, watch and wait, watch and wait.”
Pray for the church, the world, others, and yourself. It’s okay to hibernate and wait.