Looking at Lent: Perspective

While out on a walk with Kelsey a few days ago, she wore her sparkly shoes. These sneakers light up whenever she steps down or hits a shoe against a surface. And she loves these shoes!  When I aimed my camera down, I immediately got a different perspective. Nothing had actually changed about Kelsey’s shoes –except my view of them.

Sometimes we approach Easter and believe we already know the gospel. But my perspective this Lenten season has been challenged by Elyse Fitzpatrick’s devotional, Comforts from the Cross, a 31-day devotional that takes me back to the basics of the gospel. I need strong prompting to remember the joy the gospel brings. I have several means of grace such as prayer and communion that I need not merely to observe, but to celebrate. Truth be told, I am too prone to forget the cost of the good news. Christ invested three years into 12 men, yet all abandoned Him. I do too, in myriad ways, every day. I cannot take for granted real thorns, spikes, nor an empty cross and a bodily resurrection from the grave.

Our trip to the USS Arizona Memorial last week revitalized my thoughts on the cost of freedom. Like others, I toss around the phrase “Freedom isn’t free,” but when I listened to audible prayers on Sunday for a man who died this week in Afghanistan leaving a wife and 5-year-old son here, I have a sharper perspective, a personal association with that cost.

Do I get as close to Jesus? Have I considered that the God-man betrayed by his closest friends stooped to wash their feet? Despite the daily stock report, do I treasure His sovereign sway over all nations, all creation? Fitzpatrick reminded me to consider these things.

Last Friday Dave and I took Kelsey on an adventure to Waikiki and the Honolulu Zoo. Initially, we stopped at Leonard’s Bakery for malasadas, the sweet, soft Portuguese bread so popular here in Hawaii. While Dave went in, Kelsey and I played in the backseat of the Jeep. As I placed her tiny, baby-soft hand over my six-decade- plus hand, I thought of the things that will impact her life. Whatever she pursues in life, I pray she will be given, by God’s grace, a perspective on the gospel that elevates Jesus Christ over everything else. I want her to have the assurance of John 5:13. “I wrote these things to you who believe in the name of Christ so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.” What a perspective!

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