We’re at the end of the second week of Lent, Saturday night, entering into the third week, as the sun goes down. The weather is changing again from spring breezes, to winter blasts. We can feel the temperature dropping in the house, and hear the wind and ocean kicking up. Yesterday morning, some of us were discussing this changeable season, and the way Lent is linked with the turn toward warmth, here in the north. We all have a sense of coming out of our shells from a long winter, climbing out from under the snow and ice, and shaking our heads in the sun. It’s a good image for the spiritual awakenings of Lent. One person said that Lent calls her to “noticing the landscape,” not just of nature, but her own inner landscape, what her soul’s weather is like, what is growing, what needs nurturing, where the wind of the Spirit is blowing.
Tomorrow, we will be reading the Gospel story of The Women at the Well, recounted by John. As I’ve been preparing for worship, and reading around, I found a wonderful quotation attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, which calls Lent to mind. “If you be wise, you will make yourselves to be reservoirs rather than conduits.” This is quoted by Flora Slosson Wuellner, in her beautiful book “Release: Healing from Wounds of Family, Church, and Community.” (p.61). She writes it was the wisest spiritual guidance she has ever received.
The image of reservoir seems appropriate to Lent. We live in a place of many quarries—formerly worked for the granite, now abandoned, and full of water. These are beautiful places, and people around here love them, going to them for refreshment, beauty, peace, quiet, pools of water, deep wells of healing. Many quarries are now spring-fed. The water is fresh and renewed. It’s a wonderful image of church, a reservoir of fresh spring-fed water, welling up from the River of Life. May Lent be a fresh spring for you.