Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Liturgical Season of Lent; this is a time that the Catholic Church and most mainline Protestant Churches commemorate as a time of repentance and spiritual reflection leading up to the joyous season of Easter.
In my Lenten Devotional this year, “Pauses for Lent,” I have a word and a meditation to focus on each day. Today’s word was “Love,” and I really liked the meditation and I wanted to share it. I hope you enjoy it!
We often think of love as a certain kind of feeling. But if we wait for loving feelings, we may never get around to actually loving. On the other hand, when we perform a loving deed, loving feelings often come along as well.
These loving deeds need not be big. We choose to act in love by taking small steps whenever we can. A smile, a handshake, a hug, a phone call, a greeting, a visit—these are little steps toward love. “Each step,” writes Henri J. M. Nouwen, “is like a candle burning in the night.”
Lent invites us to practice loving. God passionately loves us—not for us to save it all up in our hearts but to give it away to those around us. We can begin right now, right where we are, with the people nearest us.