The Secret Christmas


I don’t know what is more thrilling, the weeks before Christmas or the weeks before Lent. Funny I should compare them because on the surface they seem to be opposites. Christmas is jammed packed with sights and sounds and Lent is relatively empty.

But I am almost as excited about Lent coming as I was about Christmas coming. Maybe Lent is the other Christmas, the secret Christmas of the soul. Instead of preparing with almost everyone else in town, I am preparing for Jesus’ re-birth inside of me all by myself. No songs, no gifts, no sparkling trees inside or out.

Phase one is just watching myself live and think and notice the things that I am doing now that I won’t be doing during Lent. I know I could just stop doing them now, but that would be like opening my presents early. Nope, I’ll just wait. If I am fully in this time and place now, then the contrast will be better and perhaps it will be easier to hear God then, like suddenly turning off the radio.

Meanwhile I can start packing. Pick out books I want to read, decide what to cut out and what to add in its place. And wait, just pure waiting, like for my turn at the doctor’s office or for the airplane to board. Waiting is a whole other space in time that, like pockets, can come in handy.

I hope I will get lots of terrific presents from God this Lent. How about you? What are you wishing for?