The meaning is in the waiting…

There in the wilderness, there is Jesus’ openness to God, discovering his own purpose, and who he is… and we contrast this with the people whom Moses led into exile – seeking the Promised Land – who lost that trust in God: turned away – and, because they had no confidence, were unable to enter the land God had given to them. Perhaps the most precious lesson we can ever learn is of God’s own faithfulness – mirrored in Moses who kept faith with God; and in Jesus, faithful to the end…

We may use Lent to look into our own hearts, to find not only the honest doubts (for belief and disbelief will nestle together) but to discern if, like Moses’ people we have a gradual hardening of our hearts, a reserve, that somehow undermines our will, changes us into half-hearted Christians.

In the honesty of repentance, shall we discover afresh :: “I am the God who heals you” ? We wait on the Lord, in the shy silence, faithfully.

And we – during Lent, so especially – discover for ourselves that indeed the meaning is in the waiting.

Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great rôle. And the audiences
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting.

 R. S. Thomas,
“Kneeling” from
The Collected Later Poems: 1988-2000.

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