Friday, April 5, 2013

Lenten Challenge: A Final Word

I hadn't planned to write a "closing" to this Lenten challenge, but I also hadn't planned to do a Lenten challenge blog marathon in the first place, so I guess consistency wins out. And also peer pressure.
Back in February, Rethink Church offered up a photo-a-day instagram challenge for Lent, and a friend told me she was going to up the ante by blogging every day with a couple other people. I thought it sounded great...for them. I was going to do my usual Lenten thing and give something up, because who's got time to add something in, am I right?! But then I read their posts from day one and got completely sucked in. Late on Ash Wednesday evening, I decided to join in what ended up being a Lenten experience like none I'd had before, and ironically, an experience that I needed, but didn't know how much.

Over 46 days (who knew Lent was FORTY-SIX days long?!), we each wrote a post inspired by a single word from the list above. I loved it. I hated it. I spent a lot of time on some posts and little time on others. It was good for my writing, good for my soul, good for my relationships, but as we neared the end, I was so ready for it to be over. The funny thing? Now that it is, I'm realizing what an amazing thing happened over those six weeks.  

This small little community of once-a-day bloggers grew into something much bigger. Sure, the five of us leaned on each other, commiserated together, and grew closer in our relationships with one another, but more importantly, the conversation started spreading to all of our readers. Simple "likes" on Facebook turned into hallway conversations at work, and comments on our posts led to new friendships.

Lent was no longer this thing we did in solidarity--it became something we shared as a community, something that brought us all closer together, something that was alive. And isn't that the point? We're supposed to share, and grow together, and love one another in this life. We're meant to be living in community.

Because of the community this crazy experiment created, not only for us, but for so many others, we're going to keep it going by posting once a month on a different word until Lent comes back around next year. I invite you to go check out what my friends had to say during this year's Lenten journey on their blogs:

Thanks for being a part of my community, readers!