Monday, February 22, 2010

The Blue Light of Lent

This has been a hard week in my community as we continue to walk through grief after the recent shootings at Discovery Middle School and UAH. Yet even in the midst of such tragedy, I am struck by our ability to find hope.

This picture captured a moment of silence at the memorial service at UAH on Friday. 3,000 people gathered to remember the 3 who lost their lives. An old friend from high school band, David Harwell, is the head of the theatre department at UAH and created lighting that would flood the stage with an ocean of blue. Late in the service, the crowd lit little blue lights together in a moment of unity. One by one, the names of the three senselessly killed appeared on the screen for one minute each, then faded into the darkness and silence of a blue hope.

Blue light is the perfect light for a time like this. It’s light because it is hope. It’s blue because it’s a light of joy that comes in the midst of the earthy, difficult realities of life.

Perhaps Lent is a season of blue light. We are looking forward to the joy and the victory of Easter, but it’s a time bathed in blue because we carry that candle in the real world of brokenness and searching. I’m glad God gives us such a season so that Christianity can not become a happy, clappy, spirituality of putting on a smiley face. Ours is a faith of true joy and sincere hope that comes in the midst of 40 days that mirror’s Jesus, who carried a blue light into the wilderness.