More or less.
With the brutal winter we have had, my trusty old van sits in the garage caked and encrusted with salt. It is so frigidly cold that it cannot be washed. My vehicle is not the only one out on the road looking like this - whitewashed non-descript color.
Which has me thinking, that as ready as my van is for a wash, so am I ready for Lent. Over and through the year, we get caked in our sin, encrusted by the hurt or wounds we've endured, lost the luster of our first love - the Lord our God, or been slowly eaten by our anger, frustrations, and disappointments. We've covered ourselves up with rationalizations for doing what we do, for what we have said, for the good we've neglected to do.
And into this season, steps in Lent.
We come before God, we bring ourselves to God, and we rend out hearts, our spirits - cracking the caked on mess of the past year, splintering the crustiness that encases us, and in genuine honesty confess all. With contrite heart and spirit we come, weeping, lamenting, mourning, fasting, and lay it all before the Lord our God, knowing God can be trusted, for God is slow to anger, abounds in steadfast, ever-enduring love, God is gracious and merciful, full of compassion, and refrains from dispensing deserving punishment. We need this time. We need to come wholly before God. We need to repent from all that has kept us far from God. We need to bring our caked, encrusted selves to God and find the healing, the forgiveness, the new life, that comes from none other.
And when we do, we are washed in the cleansing grace that is the Lord. And we are whole and complete. Forgiven, graced, renewed, and looking more like God has envisioned us, as we were created to be.
I am so ready. Ready for Lent. To begin. And to be much more than my wintery self and soul.