Appearance and Reality

The holy season of Ramadan has just begun for followers of Islam.  For Christians the  season of Lent is nearing its end as we build up to Holy Week.  Both Ramadan and Lent are best known as seasons of denial, for fasting and giving something up. 

Giving something up alters our rhythm and that offers us an opportunity.  An opportunity to do and see things differently.  Spiritually and practically.  To see the world and ourselves differently.  To examine our relationship with ourselves, with other people and with God. 

“It’s a bit late saying all this now, isn’t it?  Lent is nearly over and I don’t do Ramadan!”

One of the images of Lent that I carry is of the desert, of Lent being a dry time, with a kind of emptiness.  A desert full of scrub and nothing really alive – or so it seems.  Beneath the dry earth, awaiting the rain, are seeds and when that rain comes those seeds respond instantly and the desert blooms.

We can choose a period of Lent at anytime, or one may be thrust upon us.  We may find ourselves in a desert that seems dry and empty.  But when the rain comes, it blooms with new understanding.  A time of denial becomes a place of discovery.

Chris Dawson

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