Lent: A Holy Pause








This picture came to me during the night as I thought about Ash Wednesday in the wee hours of its unfolding, and I was also thinking of posting with the Walk with Him Wednesday community at Ann’s. The topic at Ann’s is the spiritual practice of fasting. This is so appropriate for the beginning of Lent, which is a season of fasting as we make our way to Calvary before the victory celebration of Easter.

Such a wonderful season to be in when I am reading St John of the Cross and Dark Night of the Soul. Ann Voskamp said in her post today

It is an irrefutable law: one needs to be dispossessed of the possessions that possess — before one can be possessed of God.

Let the things of this world fall away so the soul can fall in love with God. God only comes to fill the empty places and kenosis is necessary – to empty the soul to know the filling of God.

But the flesh is corrupt. I can’t do it.

St John would concur. In the dark night God wants the soul emptied (the senses purged) so only He is left. He wants to communicate without flesh. He wants to communicate Spirit to spirit. Oh, as Ann so rightly says, “[We] can’t do it.”

The most difficult thing for a Martha like me is to rest, pause, watch and wait, especially if the time is ordinary and nothing seems to be happening.  If I don’t feel Him, see Him or have assurance He is there, how am I with Him? How did Anna and Simeon ever live their lives out like they did? They were so close to God, but how? How did they know the baby circumcised in the temple on the eighth day was Jesus when the priests doing the circumcision didn’t know? It was just another ordinary day, but.they.knew. It is a matter of trust. I want to trust like that.

Lent is Mary time. It is a time to give up all the hustle and bustle of the every day. It is time to watch the Savior, wait on the Savior, and rest with the Savior. It is a time of Holy Pause. Today, Ash Wednesday, I realize I am but dust, but for some reason God loves dust. (He will certainly feel at home in my house.) I place the first emblem of spring on my Cradle to the Cross wreath. It is a cardinal. This little fellow (the male is a bright red) stays with us here in the northeast all winter. He doesn’t leave when the going gets tough and the snow flies hard and seeds are buried deep. He is the first on board as we journey to the cross here in the Blanchard household.

Now, what about the “tree” at the beginning of the post? I don’t know. Do you? God gave it to me in the wee hours of the morning. I don’t know what He had in mind, but I’m posting it just the same. Perhaps I will go back up and place a cardinal there somewhere.


Blessings, Good Friends,



4 comments on “Lent: A Holy Pause

  1. Dawn, I had to smile when I saw your ‘me’ tree with your bird resting in it.
    1. I still have my Christmas tree up and, well, not a needle is fallen from it and I don’t want to disturb it. I have still to absorb all the beauty that Christ represents it it’s many branches, each bough adorned with something relevant to His Life for us.
    2. though your tree is all you… it is also a resting place for those coming by. Your boughs are a Refuge from any passing evils and your bird is at peace. Our lives are hidden in Christ, It is no longer I that live, but He that liveth in me. So this tree, represents your life hidden in Him and being used for His service… Him living through all the different names you possess, into the community and in your home and for your man. An evergreen tree only because He is your source and your
    nourishment. Ever alive in Him, possessed by Him alone. I know that is your heart before Him. And though our flesh is weak our spirit is so willing to be beautifully adorned for Him.
    3. I love your surprises each post… who would have thought what slips through your mind in the wee morning hours… thank you for sharing it!

  2. Dear Susan,

    It amazed me that you focused on my tree, actually that you even knew it was a tree. I wasn’t sure that was that clear. Thanks for giving me an interpretation, Dear Sister even farther north than I. Tomorrow I am going to do a “take off” on Craig’s devotional page for February 22 from the love booklet he sent out. I got such a visual picture from reading it today. So, I’m warning you ahead of time that the mind was working at breakfast this morning for tomorrow. I have to keep up with you, Susan. You plow up Facebook like few people I have ever seen…and from all over the world.

    Keeping close,

  3. Okay Dawn, thanks to Susan, I now get the tree thing . . . I was definitely not tracking with you at first. I went back to the beginning of your post and couldn’t see anything but the bird. Must of been having a moment . . . I don’t usually miss that kind of thing.

    Not having been raised with an awareness of Lent, not having the history of repeating the practice year after year, I find it difficult to pick up. It seems that everyone is writing about it and more people are participating all the time. I am hoping to become more conversant with this spiritual discipline in the coming weeks.

    Your words, “rest, pause, watch, wait” really call to me . . . at the same time, I am itching to get up and get going, and do, do, do. I am finding it harder to sit still now that I am feeling better.

  4. Dear Andrea Dawn,

    The weather is certainly beckoning you to move, too. The frozen streams are beginning to flow. The buds are shooting forth. The birds are coming back or beginning their spring duties. Soon there will be insects and frogs. Fields will be tossed and turned with the plow. It is the season of moving and new life. Take it all in, breathe deeply, notice fragrance, hear sounds, feel wind, touch earth, petal and furry friend. Come alive in ways you have never experienced before. In the Holy Pause life explodes.

    You know, of all the people who pass by here, I thought you would see the tree. You see the most unusual hidden treasures in text. You truly see word pictures so many times.

    Good night, Dear One. It is Feb 23 here,

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