The knock came to my door early this morning, not extremely early but still early. I was awake, sitting in bed; reflecting on the day ahead, entering into prayer and considering this Lenten journey. I thought the knock was surely not at my door, so I ignored the sound (I’m currently staying with friends of mine and they have four children, the knock could be anywhere). Then the little tap came again, so I stopped to listen. Nothing. Then the gentle but consistent tap rattled my door again. It was indeed my door. I got out of bed and answered the door. There before me was my four-year-old friend looking up with big eyes, “Are you getting up?” he asked.
I smiled and said, “not yet.”
“Okay,” he whispered and disappeared down the hall.
About twenty minutes later the same tap-tap-tap came to my door. I crawled out of bed a bit quicker this time. I opened the door but before I could say anything, my four-year-old friend declared, “Mom is in the shower.”
I said, “okay, and what do you need?”
With his big eyes twinkling he said, “We are having muffins for breakfast.”
I responded with, “would you like a muffin?”
With a smile, and a twist of the body he was heading down the hallway.
We met his mother at the top the stairs.
“Young man, what are you doing down there? Did you wake him up?”
“Nope!” came the response, “We are going to have a muffin!”
Well it was decided that after he showered the muffin would be ready for him. He went off to the shower and I got the muffin ready.
As I came back to my guest room, still in the quiet of the morning I was struck by this encounter. Is this not what Lent is? God knocking on our door and saying, “Are you getting up?” “Are you awake?”
In other words, through our words and actions, through our encounters and experiences, through our disciplines of fasting, almsgiving and prayer: Where are you going to encounter love today? How are you going to be a witness to living the good news? Who is going to remind you that God is present? What are you going to do to make this season count?
I had great plans for a quiet morning of prayer locked away from the distractions. It was however, the distraction of a knock at my door which reminded me that Lent is about being awakened to the depths of love and how I respond to carrying the cross.
May our Lenten journeys be full of door knocking, muffin requests and healthy distractions which will open our eyes to see our God with us and awaken us to what we need to truly do this Lent.
God of door knocking and four-year-olds,
God of “are you awake yet?” and muffin requests,
you are ever present to us in the simplicity of life.
May this Season of Lent awaken us to life,
to the everyday, to the truths you speak in our daily living
and awaken us to life-giving ways this Lent.
You who are ever with us,
awaken us again to life
in this season of transformation.
May we see with clear vision,
let go of burdens and things we don’t need
and be present to you with us and calling us to life.
(even in distractions)