There is something beautiful about kneeling. The humility. The surrender. The vulnerability. It has become one of my favorite places to be. On my knees. Sometimes completely on my face. Hands extended. Just being there.
The past few weeks, I have been able to witness an elderly couple in church kneeling together. A developmentally delayed older gentlemen kneeling beside of me. Listening to his gentle prayer of thanks. As pure as a child's. Kneeling tonight in prayer at the Ash Wednesday service I thought.....
Who was the first? Who was the first person to do it? Was it commanded or did it come naturally? A instinctual falling from a place of desperation? An automatic buckling of the knees in a time of brokenness? Did it happen in the Garden? When Adam and Eve realized their humanity? When they grasped how small they were in the presence of God? When they realized their nakedness? Did they hide out of shame..... realizing their rebellion..... did they kneel? Were there tears? Did they place their hands together naturally out of an awe of their Creator and bow their heads without being asked or told to?
And did they look up when they heard Him?
"Where are you?"
When they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden.... when they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord.
Did they kneel?
And would we? Or would we stand before Him and defend our decisions and our rights and ask Him the answer to all of our theological questions of creation and salvation? Would we ask Him to draw for us the line in the sand so we could see just how close we could come to it.... or would we
Kneel and say "I am small.... Will you save me?"
Lent. Websters Definition: The period of 40 weekdays that in the Christian Church is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence leading up to the day of celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
Or "A time for confronting our false self as we reflect on the part of our self that is least Christ-like and seek God's help in rededicating ourselves to God's purpose. Self denial and fasting to make ourselves more available to God.
Getting up from kneeling and moving to the station of the cross. I closed my eyes....
"From Dust you came and to Dust you shall return"
It's funny In our world of excuses and dreams of being bigger and climbing the next step to reach the next goal to stand on the next level..... Ashes don't seem to be so attractive. Neither does being small or broken or weak. But that is what today is all about.
Kneeling. Refining. A day of recognizing our humanity and the need for a graceful God. It's not about eating because we won't eat for a while. Or watching a marathon TV series because we are unplugging. It's about being broken in the bushes and falling and looking into the mirror and asking:
How can we be filled if we do not recognize our emptiness?
How can we be mended if we are afraid to show our scars?
How can we be whole if we cannot admit we are broken?
Lord, we kneel before you. And we surrender. All of us. In our brokenness and in our beauty. Our mended places and our scars. We are here and we say... we are small. You are great. We are weak. You are strong. We are wavering. You are constant. We are spinning. And You, my Lord, are the still place in the center of our soul. May we find you.... May we kneel.