Love, heart health, and Lent seem to be February notions. With Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Month, our culture has connected the old love holiday with red blood cells and heart arteries. It’s a good match…a connection between what some call a “Hallmark Holiday” and a current reality. The culture sees red in February and realizes more and more that the stresses of life and heart attacks are connected. And why not? All that chocolate will definitely affect weight and weight affects heart health (or lack of health as the case may be). And you know those diamonds are found/mined by people so poor they will never own even one uncut rough…maybe not even a hut…and might be killed if they try to keep a piece of their find.

My thoughts, energies and contemplations go toward the above two parts of culture and awareness and also to Lent…what was once a 40-day holy week complete with down-looking people, sin-fueled sermons, abstinence or sacrifice of yummy and worldly pleasures, and following bloody footprints to a cross.

In recent years, thanks be to God, (TBTG), Lent for us in Lutheran circles is concentrated more on growth and waiting. We grow in knowledge of Christ. We grow in devotional time. We grow in doing good. We wait for God to speak. We wait for answers to prayer. We wait for divine love that penetrates our world…knowing all the while that the story of death and resurrection is coming, too!

TBTG we can wait and grow at the same time and be about another cultural reality of multi-tasking. With the press of a key we can be anywhere without waiting. With the click of a mouse we can see old growth charts or chart new ones. With Photoshop we can grow large or small…just like those funny mirrors at circuses or fun houses allow us to do as we step in front of them.

For what will you choose to wait this year? Into what do you want (or need) to grow? These are Lenten questions and we have 40 days to allow God to grow us into wait-ers and/or to wait us into growers. Are you a diamond in the rough that, although not ready for Valentine’s Day, may be graced with your rough edges being rubbed and your coming out a strikingly new person?

TBTG we will do both. The heart-heavy month of February might also make our hearts heavy with inability to wait or to be sluggish in growing. Yet God comes! God pushes us gently sometimes and fiercely others. God supports us always in, through, and beyond waiting…yet never beyond growing.

TBTG there is a family of Christ in which our waiting is comforted, supported, and oftentimes grieved with friends who experience the same. TBTG there is a family of Christ where growing is expected, mistakes are normal, and courage is prayed for.

Come and see. There is an energy of Spirit that gives love, heart, and Lent a time together. Come and hug one another in peace. Come and greet one another with love. Wait and grow together in February.

One family of God meets Sundays, 10:30am, at 16400 Detroit Avenue at Trinity Lutheran Church. Come!

Pastor Paula Maeder Connor has been the Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church since 1990. Trinity is birthing an outreach arm, Trinity Lakewood Community Outreach, that is meeting needs of people here in Lakewood.

Paula Maeder Connor

Pastor Paula has been pastor of Trinity since December of 1990. Trinity is birthing an outreach arm, Trinity Lakewood Community Outreach, that is meeting needs of people here in Lakewood. See the FB page Trinitylakewoodcommunityoutreach!

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:02 PM, 02.21.2012