- The Rev. Arianne Rice
Lenten Reflection: Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Lent
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)
I pray that you see with the eyes of your heart enlightened. (Ephesians 1:18)
These verses are my mantras. When God shows me a task, a possibility, a challenge that seems too big, I remember these encouraging words from St. Paul.
When the small group of parishioners gathered on my patio in July to discuss how we would invite parishioners and facilitate the Sacred Ground series it all felt too big. Ten sessions? So much time! So much work! The curriculum is packed with films and readings. What more is there to learn about our history? What good would that do in our present? Who wants to feel guilty for the past when it cannot be changed?
Little did I realize how much about our past I would learn. I learned in 1882 Congress passed the first in a series of Chinese Exclusion Acts, eventually mandating a Chinese registry. I learned Latinos can trace their lineage in North America as far back as the 1600s. I learned that in the 1800’s generations of Native American children were taken from their families and sent to boarding schools to be “Americanized.”
There was so much to take in. It was humbling, opening my eyes to so many perspectives and histories. I believe it helps me understand what is happening in our present. I believe and know that people and families cannot heal unless they acknowledge and reckon with traumas in the past. And I know the same is true of the human family, in our country and elsewhere.
Enlightening the eyes of our heart is saying, “Yes!” to the Holy Spirit because “now” is where God has placed us in the arc of the story of salvation.
When the conversation on our patio ended, we were graced with a sign of wisdom. An owl stared at our circle, perched on a branch just beyond my shoulder. I had never seen an owl there before and saw this as a blessing on our beginning. Because now is the time for the eyes of our heart to be enlightened.
What is happening now that you can open the eyes of your heart to?