Thursday, March 9, 2017

Second Sunday of Lent

Second Sunday of Lent Reflection
by Alex Haney

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:7-12, NIV)

I walk through the city on the sunny morning after a snow storm.  Once purely white snow shows marks of what and who has passed by.  Previous pedestrian’s frozen footprints crunch under my own new prints.  Brown, and black splatters from passing street traffic speckles the path ahead.  The artistic sights of a snowman and snow fort warm my cold bones. Squirrel prints, dog prints, dog poop, and yellow snow occasionally catch my eye.  A golden Twix wrapper, green cigar package, and discarded ribbon also collect my attention on the path.  Crusty street salt stains form patterns on the pavement.

Snow visually highlights our interactions with our watershed.  Footprints, colors, and objects of our stay and our passing remain in sight until the snow melts, rain falls, and dissolves our markers into the water and carry it downstream. 
Our beautiful artwork and snow fort creations.

Our messy spills and widespread splatters.

Dissolved, absolved, resolved. 

Much like baptism.


water is not God.

Christ said he would give Living Water,

Distinguishing himself as higher than the natural. 

The watershed can’t absolve and resolve all we put into it. 

Our neighbors downstream must still swim, boat, and catch fish in that water. 

Some of our water has the snow forts and ugly splatters of life in upstream communities. 

Water cleans us, water connects us, water gives us life. Let us remember this with what we do to the ground and the watershed especially when there is no snow on which to see our neighbor’s and our own footprints.

Prayer: God help us to see what kind of mark we leave on our watershed and our neighbors, especially when it is not obvious like marks in the snow. With your help may we bring more good than harm to our surroundings like you have done for us in Christ, Amen.

Alex Haney is a proud member of the YAV and Eco-Stewards communities from western Virginia. He is glad to be part of the planning team for the 2017 Eco-Stewards conference on Watershed issues along the James River.

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