To be honest, I never got Lent. I went to Catholic school and everyone would debate what they were going to give up, but I never really understood how to turn this sacrifice (as if giving up potato chips or chocolate is sacrificial in the context of the man we were trying to emulate) into something spiritually meaningful.
Lent always felt…childlike. Like we could give up partying, smoking, or gluten and magically get right with God.
Somehow, I always felt this was not exactly what God had in mind when he sent his only begotten Son.
It’s taken a few years, but I am starting to understand.
This picture was taken on New Years Day 2013. It is the old medieval church in the English village I used to call home. This church has stood since the 13th century. Sadly it is no longer used because mining in the area has made the foundations unsafe.
The church remains a light to me, guiding me home, wherever that may be. I have moved a lot over the years and I always have to find a church before I feel like I can settle in.
I was raised in Catholic churches but have moved away from it as my faith became more inclusive and it’s doctrine could not contain those that I love.
I have experimented with Unitarian Universalist churches and although they were universally beautiful and inclusive, I need a strong Christian tradition. I believe in a magic, miracles, and that a man named Jesus was nailed to a cross in a supreme act of love and reconciliation and then three days later he walked out of his tomb.
I need a church that preaches the Good News, that we can defy anything, even death, with faith.