Lent and a Holy Week of Freelancing

Lent and a Holy Week of Freelancing
Binkley Baptist Church's ecumenical labyrinth (Photo credit: Rev. Christopher T. Copeland, http://www.illuminatingpaths.com)

Last Thursday Binkley Baptist Church held its annual Maundy Thursday observance. It’s one of my favorite worship services of the liturgical year. My heart swells with gratitude each time the Binkley community gathers around the open table to share fellowship, communion, and a meal together–just as Christ did with his friends so long ago.

I took time before the service to rest in Binkley’s silent sanctuary with the community labyrinth— an ancient spiritual tool designed to inspire one’s growth and self-discovery. My time at the labyrinth inspired a prayer of thanksgiving:

Thank you, God, for this sacred space. I’m grateful for the Binkley Baptist Church community and all that it has meant to me and to others. Let me never forget how fortunate I am to have the space and freedom to study, pray, and practice. Please continue to guide me, God. Lead the way toward service, love, harmony, and peace. May my dreams and yearnings be manifestations of your purposes for me. When I’m distressed and discouraged–help me to remember this sacred space, my gratefulness, and my calling. Amen.

Launching a full-time freelance writing career during Holy Week felt providential. The decision of leaving Duke after nearly a decade of study and service is one I wrestled with throughout this Lenten season. During my time in the wilderness, I practiced God-dependence and feeding my faith.

What I’ve learned this Lent and this Holy Week of Freelancing:

  • Patience: gracing myself and others.
  • Courage: don’t be (too) afraid to be vulnerable.
  • Isolation: time alone for the extrovert seems counterintuitive but is necessary. Given the space–grief, life lessons, and your shadow side will bubble up. Keep it flowing—there’s good stuff in there.
  • Spiritual practice: prayer, study, meditation, listening to sacred music, worship, and observances are vital. You must not be so driven by your calling that you overlook the source that created you for that purpose in the first place.

What have been your Lenten/Holy Week lessons?

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