Moderator's 2018 Lent Message - Jordan Cantwell
February 16, 2018
"Seeing Eyes of Love"
The season of Lent is once again upon us, a time of year when we are invited to make space in our lives for reflection and self-examination, to draw closer to God.
Now, if your're like me, self-examination can quickly turn into self-critique and even self-loathing. I have a tendency when I look closely at myself to zero in on those things that I wish were different. I wish I was less judgemental, more patient, better at showing others that I care, less fearful. I find no shortage of things to feel shabby about.
But, I don't beleive God wants us to feel bad about ourselves. There's quite enough of that going around already, and there's nothing life-giving about it. Nor,do I believe that guilt helps us to feel closer to God - quite the opposite!
So what if, instead of finding fault with my imperfections, I practised greeting them with compassion? Insteadd of scolding myself for every shortcoming, I might acknowledge how hard it is to consiistently be the kind, courageous, loving person I long to be.
Maybe if I am able to regard myself with the eyes of love rather than judgment it will be easier for me to trust in God's grace and unconditional acceptance - something I find hard to do.
Perhaps as I learn to be patient and compassionate toward myself, I will have more patience and compassion for others as well.
This is my goal for this Lenten season: to take time each day to practise seeing myself as God sees me, not as perfect, but as beloved. And I invite you to join me in the endeavour. It isn't easy - it really does take time and practice.
My prayer for you, and for myself, is that we may learn to see with the eyes of love and discover ourselves and our world transformed.