Lent starts in just two weeks and I’ve been thinking about its observation. In the past, I’ve mailed cards, prayed for politicians, and given up wine in order to fund microloans. This year, as I thought of something to do, the word gentle kept coming to mind. Our season has been pretty intense. There are a lot of emotions in our house around being two-years-old, going to kindergarten all day, and functioning in tax season-mode. Even the best ideas seemed a bit overwhelming this year.
Right after gentle came to mind, Heather Caliri sent out a call to be on her launch team for Word Made Art: A Spiritual Encounter. I don’t consider myself visually creative. It’s been decades since I’ve painted or drawn with any regularity. Over the years, visual creativity has come to feel rusty and intimidating. And yet, I felt that nudge again that this would be a gentle way to approach Lent. Me and my Bible, getting messy, tactically exploring the word of God.
The aspects that made me uncomfortable about Word Made Art are the things that were simultaneously most freeing. After reading the directions for the week, I wanted Heather to walk me through the project with step-by-step instructions and examples. She doesn’t do this and it’s intimidating at first. But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? That Lent is deeply personal and the way that I interact with the Bible is going to be completely different than Heather or you. If she had given detailed directions, a lot of the practice would have been lost.
The book is set up by weeks with scripture readings, spiritual practices, and a loose guide to getting your Bible messy. I actually went to a used bookstore and bought a Bible for a dollar for this project. You’ll be getting it dirty (literally), drawing and painting in it, highlighting and pasting over words. This is about physically interacting with your Bible and creating a piece of art through the six weeks of Lent.
I didn’t do each exercise fully, as Lent doesn’t begin until February 14 but I’m looking forward to going through the scriptures and activities slowly, to pausing and getting messy, to stretching my boundaries and experiencing a gentle Lent.
How are you entering Lent this year? Do you usually give something up? Add something? What prepares you for Easter?
Word Made Art releases this Wednesday, January 31! Preorders help authors, so if this book looks like a good fit for your Lenten journey, order it today!