The reading of the gospel for this Sunday, the first Sunday in Lent, is about Jesus going into the wilderness. This year, that story feels quite real and present. I was in New Mexico last week (if you were following me on Facebook, you saw a lot of posts), at places like this:
Yeah. I know. It was amazing. I’ll post more later.
One of the places that I stayed was Christ in the Desert Monastery, which is at the end of a 12 mile dirt road. My companions and I were grateful it was dry weather, because it would be easy to get stuck on that road without a 4-wheel drive. On our first evening, after vespers and dinner, it was time for me to walk back to the guest house, about 1/8 – 1/4 of a mile. But there was no moon and it was DARK. As in, can’t see your steps without a light (I had a flashlight). So I walked back, feeling the presence of the night and the dark. I turned off my flashlight a couple of times to enjoy the starts that seemed so many and close.
The glimpses I had of the guest house lights were hope-giving, and truly needed (even though I had done the walk by daylight). When you are in the wilderness, any little sign is important.
Maybe someone in your life is going through a wilderness time, or you are. Let’s be sure to send light to each other so we don’t lose hope in the dark.