A Meditation on Lent, Suffering and Creativity


As this Lenten season comes to a close, we offer a meditation on how Lent can reshape our relationship to creativity. Lent is generally the 40 days in the church calendar leading up to Easter Sunday. It begins with Ash Wednesday and is a season of reflection, fasting, prayer, and giving.


As this Lenten season comes to a close, we offer a meditation on how Lent can reshape our relationship to creativity. Lent is generally the 40 days in the church calendar leading up to Easter Sunday. It begins with Ash Wednesday and is a season of reflection, fasting, prayer, and giving.

Lent is reflecting on suffering. It is naming that we are dust and ash. It is grafting "my god my god why have you forsaken me" moments into our story. It is the way our wounds become wellsprings of healing and creativity that we offer generously to the community. Lent is the way that Jesus is the Incarnation, alongside us in our suffering.

Lent is reflecting on injustice. It is entering in to the places of suffering and building a home there. Lent is receiving stories of injustice and holding them close to our heart without qualification. It is the prayer of how long how long how long. Lent is solidarity. Lent is the generous flow of justice in all directions.  

Lent is the emptiness that precedes creative energy. It's the suffering that precedes new life flowing out into the whole of creation. Lent is the cursor on the blank page, blinking before the great novel of the rest human history unfolds. Lent is the emptying out that somehow becomes fullness.

Lent is mystery and Spirit and blood and roosters and trials and truth and wood and mobs and earthquakes and sons and fathers and Empires and religion and denial and crosses and absence and tombs and promise and protest and nails and soldiers and solidarity and mothers and hope and injustice and a kingdom and the way that all of it gets stirred up together into a moment that transforms everything.

Lent is the season where our great suffering and God's great suffering intersect. May we let this suffering season be turned into something generative, creative and holy. Amen.


Words—Geoff Gentry
Photos—Bryan Chung