This Lent, as is my want I did a couple of Lenten studies, and kept my eye on a few more that I had recommended to families.
One of my personal favourite studies for the last 3 years is created by the ministry team at A Sanctified Art http://sanctifiedart.org
and involves mindfulness colouring in, I love completing this late at night, I have found so much has revealed itself to me as I prayerfully colour away.
If looking for a similar family practice, involving mindful colouring in, head to Children’s Illustrated Ministry. https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com
But it was not in these practices or Brueggemann’s wise counsel, that I found my Lenten message. No. It was mother nature herself. I knew that she had finally gotten through to me when I was at the Saturday Vigil and realised that I could not smell any Australian scents, no Eucalyptus, no lemon eucalyt, no Australian mint, no wattle. I sat under an imported beech tree, and nearby was an oak, behind me was an olive tree, there was English lavender and rosemary, all beautiful scents in their own way. And I realised that all through lent I had been watching, and smelling God’s marvels as they walked me through Lent.
Lent started on Valentine’s Day, and the garden was reenergised experiencing its final blooms for the summer period. The roses, were opening, red, orange and white colours splashed around the garden, the wisteria was popping out for a confused final say, the magnolia tree which usually starts in December was still bursting open, the Lemon Eucalpt tree sent strong wafts of scents whenever I got out of my car. Mauve or blue plants were the most dominant colour. I remember taking pictures and wondering which one I would use on my media this Lent. I couldn’t help but wonder, even though Palm Sunday was a long way off then, that this abundance must have been what Jesus experienced as he went into Jerusalem. At that moment in my reverie I was mown down not by a young donkey, but 2 rumbustious labradoodles.
The March winds started early, and soon the wisteria was blown away. I caught myself thinking, it was just like Jesus’s friends in the garden. The grass grew orange, as the top end of Australia received the rain, and the wind just bought drying wind this year. Everything seemed to be withering. Did the disciples feel like that after the crucifixion, had everything withered?
Some of the Lemon Eucalyptus leaves turned flame red. The thin spindles of leaves looking like fire flames licking out, and I thought of Pentecost to come. How lucky am I to know there was a conclusion of hope.
On Easter Sunday i became aware of the autumonal change starting to happen to some of the leaves on the imported trees. It seemed appropriate that change was making itself evident on this of all days.
Lent was talking to me through my scenes and in my home environment.
God was in me, around me.
Our children often see these things, they get excited by the feel, the scent, the sound of God’s world every day. I love giving our little ones the opportunity to make the connection with God. Find the right words or expressions or occasions. Lent opened my ears, eyes and nose. I enjoy sharing God’s word through God’s World with the little ones In our care.