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Lent Devotional – Ash Wednesday 2019

It has become beauty again, by Britt Luby

For those of you I haven’t met quite yet, my name is Britt Luby, and I am an Associate Chaplain in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.  I identify as Roman Catholic, and the season of Lent has been part of my spiritual story since birth.   Little Britt typically gave up cookies for Lent; now, I tend to take on a new spiritual practice.  Whatever draws you closer to God this Lent, may it draw you fully and completely into Love.


In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again
It has become beauty again
It has become beauty again
It has become beauty again
– Navajo Prayer


Like many Christians, when I think of Lent I think of the desert.  Mirroring the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert, the Catholic Church I attend is decorated sparsely in the season of Lent.  The barrenness creates a physical space that matches my own spiritual journey.

But the desert is beautiful, too, in its own way.  Isn’t it? And rich?  My favorite part of Texas is Big Bend National Park.  In the vast dryness, the eruption of giant agave stalks punctuates the landscape.  Soft yellow and pink fruit grow on the prickly pear cactus.  Late at night, you can see more stars shining in Big Bend than you can in any of the other lower 48 states.  In the hot, harsh desert, it has become beauty again.

Different seasons of my life feel like my first impressions of the desert, before I walked across the rocky terrain with my own tired feet.  Grief, heavy and burdensome, presses me down with its weight.  A flat tire becomes symbolic of all that is wrong and difficult in my world.  Ruptured relationships fill me with pain and guilt.  Where, dear God, is the beauty here?

It has become beauty again.

In the space between the long, fibrous yucca leaves.

It has become beauty again.

In the long conversation with an old friend that fills my weary soul with energy.

It has become beauty again.

In the flurry of wildflowers sprouting alongside the primitive dirt roads.

It has become beauty again.

In the flurry of love I feel when my toddler puts his pudgy hand in mine.

In the silvery moonlight of God’s love casting light in my desert shadows.


Walk with me, God, in the desert this Lent.  Help me see beauty in the barrenness; help me feel beauty in the oppressive heat.  Accompany my tired soul that I can, in turn, accompany others.



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