"Then there were doors that wouldn't open unless you asked politely, or tickled them in exactly the right place, and doors that weren't really doors at all, but solid walls just pretending." J.K. Rowling
At our Ash Wednesday service this week we talked about masks….the masks we wear, the masks we hide behind. We spoke about Lent being a time to take off our masks and be who we really are, God's beloved ones, created to be images of the Holy in the world. These 40 days can encourage us to strip away all the pretenses we normally live with and come clean with who we are, blemishes and all. It is a frightening thought, difficult work.
Another way to look at it is with the metaphor of the door. The scriptures are full of door images, those invitations of hospitality we either open or keep shut out of fear, intimidation, apathy, or ignorance. Lent can invite us to open the doors of our mind, eyes, heart to what is being born anew in us. This is also frightening and difficult work. It can be even more daunting when we realize that what we thought were doors to be opened were really walls we had built. Solid walls, all the cracks and crevices filled with mortar so nothing could get in. There is seemingly no way to penetrate the fortress we have built.
It has been my experience that the realization of this wall building usually comes as a great surprise. I find I am often caught off guard by the ways in which I have systematically built, brick by brick, walls that I believe protect me or shield me from another person, a particular situation, a challenge I want to deny, a gift I refuse to receive. This building is not only exhausting but keeps me from living fully, from transformation I sorely need, from being present to the Spirit's movement in my life. It creates an illusion about who I really am and whose I really am. These walls keep me from authentically being an image of God in the world.
Does this ever happen to you? Are there walls you have built that need to come tumbling down? Are there doors you wish might open that might lead you to your authentic self?
Perhaps this Lent is not a time to deny ourselves chocolate or any other wonderful thing. Perhaps this Lent is an invitation to begin to dismantle the walls we have built that sometimes masquerade as doors. Brick by brick we can tear down the buffer we have created that keeps us from becoming the gift to the world we were created to be. As plaster falls, as chunks thud around our feet, we will be invited to offer ourselves fully and wholly to one another, to our communities, to the world, after the example of Jesus who walked this path before us.
I believe this might be called resurrection.
Have a blessed weekend………