Lenten Devotion 3/7/2022

Lenten Devotion 6

Many years ago when we were visiting Kenya we took the train from Nairobi to Mombasa. This was at the end of our stay in Kenya, so it was timed so that we got back to Nairobi the night before our flight home. We bought our round trip train tickets in Nairobi. We were ready to go!

At that time, everything related to the ticketing was written up by hand. Our tickets were paper with our names hand written on them. The tickets were for a specific departure date and time but there was no seating assignment on the ticket itself. For that we had to look at a chalkboard on the depot platform. The
chalkboard had a list of all of the seats and compartments and a name by each one. We examined the chalkboard and found our names and headed to the proper compartment.

After our stay in Mombasa, we headed to the train station for our return to Nairobi. We had our paper tickets with our names written on them. We went to the chalkboard in the middle of the platform. All of the compartments and seats appeared to be filled but we could not find our names on the board. Anywhere. We panicked. We had to get on this train so that we could make our
flight home the next day. There were no other transportation options back to Nairobi in that time frame. Our names were not on that board. We were a wreck.

In desperation, we sought out someone who worked at the station. We poured out our predicament with evident panic. The station master was very relaxed. And he appeared relieved. He told us that there had been some kind of confusion. He had been told by Nairobi that four tickets for this train had been sold but he had not been given the names of the people. Four seats but who
were the people? So, he did not know who we were and could not put our names on the board. He was waiting to see if we existed, if we appeared, because he did not know who we were and he was uncertain. He had been looking for us. And here we were panicking, looking for our place on the train. We were worried that there was no room for us and he was worried that we would not appear.

Lent is a time for re-turning our lives to God. We need this season because we get distracted. We put our spiritual life on the back burner, we think temporarily, only to realize that we have forgotten about it. Then maybe a crisis comes. We are in distress or overwhelmed or beset with worry or grief or maybe just not in a good space. And finally we remember that we can turn to our faith, to God, to the church. And we realize that God has been there all the time. Door open. ‘Come on in’ sign posted. Waiting for us. Hoping we will come by. Wondering if we remember that we live in the reality of God.

This Lenten season, may we remember the wildness of mercy eager to take us in, take us back, take care of us.

Prayer: Think of a time when you felt very close to God. When you felt the warmth of Divine Love. When you felt connected to a larger reality. When you felt tapped in to the sacred. Remember that feeling. That experience. It is available to us all the time. Ready. Waiting. May we show up. Amen.

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