For the past couple of years, I’ve participated in #UULent, a social media practice that helps me be a little more intentional and focused during this season. Several years ago, Mr. Barb Greve and Zr. Alex Kapitan collaborated to create the #UULent calendar and to promote the practice among Unitarian Universalists. (Read more about it here.)
This year’s Christian observance of Lent began with Ash Wednesday on February 26. Lent is a season of sacrifice and deep reflection, reminding Christians that the promise of Easter and resurrection is meaningful and necessary because of the realities of death and pain and grief that are ubiquitous in human life. Like other observances in many religious traditions, Lent is (among other theological things) a reminder to take notice, to reflect, to be intentional.
At first I was a little cynical about #UULent—I tend toward cynicism about anything that might be more performative than meaningful. So, I’ve been surprised at how much this daily practice means to me. It has become something that I share with family members, and the kids often help with ideas of what image(s) should be captured in the day’s photo.
Most days, we look at the word in the morning and don’t capture a photo until later in the day. On Wednesday (day 1), for example, each of us was thinking of the word PRAYER all day, considering its meanings. In the evening, I was still undecided about what photo to post. “Take a picture of the Buddha statue.” “Or the prayer wheel Dad brought back from Thailand.” “Or my hands if I hold them like this.”
Eventually we settled on staging a photo that would represent the proverbial sentiment that we pray with our hands and feet:
To our amusement and delight, the dog (Lucy) insisted on being included. None of us was forcing her into that photo—she put her paw in place and kept it there all on her own! What a delightful reminder that unexpected blessings are always possible. May we have the awareness to notice them.
Today’s word is COMMITMENT. I’m not sure yet where my attention will be drawn, but I look forward to sharing on Facebook before day’s end.
Whether you join in the Photo A Day #UULent observance or not, I hope that this season is one of intention that brings blessings—perhaps especially unexpected ones—into your life, too.