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Losing Your Soul Bit by Bit

Lent this year has settled on me with strong reminders that it is not about giving up something, like chocolate or television or Facebook. Lent is about getting back our souls, our-selves, our who-we-are-ness. It is about receiving back, or starting anew, the kind of life most of us said we wanted in the first place.

Yet, how easily it is to lose the possibility of a meaningful life. How easy it is to lose ourselves.

It happens a piece at a time given away to the demands and expectations of others, to uncertainty and doubt, to lost ideals and dreams, or even to causes. It happens through that dawning awareness of growing discomfort and disappointment that you have spent too much of your life chasing someone else’s dream, or have held on to the wrong person, wrong idea or wrong career, or that you have embraced some destructive attitude for too long. It happens through grief you cannot shake or fear or through some word that was said to you or that you said in anger that gnaws at you like some ethereal hound gnawing at your fragmented life and your troubled soul.

It happens – and is just as exhausting to think about as that long list was to read.

Through an honest Lent, you can own up to whatever has overtaken over your life, find the courage to give that stuff to God and open your life to God’s love, mercy and grace.

You can get back your soul and get back your life, which is the wonder of a life shared with God and shaped by God’s joy and redemption, of course, too.

A prayer to begin?


How about this?


O Lord,


May we walk with you,

so that we may learn your ways? 


May we learn to love with the 

abandon that birthed planets 

and galaxies and creatures 

seen and unseen. 


May we accept the gift of your love 

that will change us to live, look 

and act more like those who 

carry your cross. 


May we embrace your calling 

to love others with the same 

extravagance as you have loved



And may we learn the humility, 

patience and grace of a 

holy kind of waiting for love 

to be realized and its impact 

seen in those who resist your



just as we keep on loving as 

you would love and as you have

loved us when we have resisted you,



Hold us near,

strengthen us, let us rejoice,

so overwhelmed are we by your

... love. 


Make us real. 




Have a courageous Lent, dear friends,

Bob Guffey

"Ash Wednesday," © 2013 Nicholas Markell | Eyekons UBP. ARR.


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