Lent & Shelter-in-Place
I'd like to draw attention to the Church calendar and the fact that we are still in Lent. Like it or not, a kind of Lent has greeted everyone this season, albeit in the forms of forced social-distancing and the compulsory self-denial of certain goods or activities. (Blessed are they who have trampolines?) For Christians who don’t observe the historic church practice, consider it a forced Lent. For those who do observe Lent, the recent weeks of sheltering at home serve only to extend or intensify the fasting. Regardless of one’s politics—regardless of the varied theories on the policies we’ve adopted to combat the Coronavirus—one thing is certain: we have all entered into a state of going without. Jesus did this willingly in forms of prayer and fasting. Going without can be a good thing—even if we are compelled to. It can be an opportunity, a moment to be seized. When the noise is reduced, we can hear clearer; when visual distractions are removed, we can see sharper.
Because of this, Lent is a time where God's voice can be louder and His presence seen clearer. Right now, the heralds of “shelter in place” are loud. But they shouldn’t drown out the voice of the Lord which is always crying in the wilderness of our hearts: "Make straight the way of the Lord!" Let's not forget there is always a deeper “shelter in place” for the soul to abide amid the desiderata of the age. In light of this, may they Lord be our strength, and may our "shelter in place" be in Him who makes us lie down in green pastures.