I'm struck tonight at how different my experience was at last year's Ash Wednesday service...
I remember standing at a cemetery on a crisp, sunny, winter day thinking about the cross, death, and what Lent would be about. In the midst of a service on death, my mind was very much thinking about life. Cynthia was due to deliver Cara in only a few weeks. Our Lent season would surely be interrupted by Cara's entrance into this world. Little did I know that I'd be standing a cemetery a month later burying my daughter on Holy Saturday.
Cynthia and I stood there tonight thinking again about death, Christ's journey into the Lenten wilderness, the cross and Resurrection. My perspective has totally changed. Last year, I think I only understood life. This year, I know death all too well. I've experienced the depth of loss, death, pain and grief. And yet in the midst of our Lenten journey, the Resurrection and life can't be denied. We made a vow tonight to follow Christ in the wilderness for the next forty days, but we do this knowing that eventually new life will spring forth. Joy, hope and life will win. Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter will be here soon.