Wholehearted Lent (Week 2)
I saw a question this week on Social Media that made me stop and think. It said,
*”How has giving up your lesser love this lenten season practically changed your week?”
First of all, compared to Jesus, everything should be a lesser love. For me, giving up reading fiction has shown me how much I use it to escape, to wind down, and stop my train of thoughts from worry or my intense desire to be in control. In reality, I need to take all of that to Jesus not just cover over it with a distraction—which is what reading fiction has become.
I was talking to my daughter about it and she said, “Mom, reading fiction isn’t bad.” I agreed with her, but what it has become in my life can flat out be sin if my love for it grows bigger than my love for Jesus. Even good things can become idols if we feed them and allow them to rescue us.
What has practically changed this week is I’m painfully aware of where I’ve been running.
“You should love Him, your True God, with all your heart and soul, with every ounce of your strength” Deuteronomy 6:5
As I mentioned before I’ve been reading a biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer instead of my typical Historical Christian Fiction. And his story is epically hard. Brutal even. The first half of the book painstakingly waded through how God formed him in his early years and prepared him to take a stand for Christ in Germany and eventually become a spy. Over and over again he speaks of the Word of God and how perfect it is without a need to water it down. The book, is also, at times, very academic. Dietrich was at heart a theologian and even with the “translation” by the author it is heady. Have I mentioned that I am NOT heady? Not in the least.
So, to compensate I picked up a poetry book that I needed to finish. It is by Amy Carmichael and called Toward Jerusalem. It has some truly beautiful verses in it and has eased the hard reading of Bonhoeffer’s life with these lyrics:
Make Me Thy Fuel
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me…”
– Amy Carmichael from Toward Jerusalem (Emphasis mine)
It is funny, Bonhoeffer did not ask to be sheltered from the winds or easy choices. He followed the Way of Jesus closely. And he took as many with him as he possibly could.
O Lamb of God deliver me from lesser loves, silken self, and all that dims Thy Calvary.
*From the Well-Watered Women Company Instagram. A good one to follow.
So very true. In my childhood God gave me with writing & reading as an escape from hard things but now many years later, & especially lately, I feel Him telling me to put down all the idols that I run to. It’s harder than one might think. I’m trying to run to Him alone through pain, disappointment, sadness, the world’s darkness. Thank you for continuing to share your heart & giving us a safe place to do the same. Am copying that Carmichael poem. It’s just what I need for where I am. Thank you, dear friend!
I will say this, I am so missing reading stories like yours. They always point me to the Lord. I think what God is asking me truly is, “Do you love me more than these?” And you are right, it is harder than one might think. So glad you loved the poem!That little book is packed with treasures. Praying for you Laura as we journey towards the cross together.