This summer was a time of transition for our family as we moved across the country from Idaho to Ohio. For the first time, our daughter was old enough to understand what was happening and have her own feelings about the change. Her sensitive heart grieved leaving the only home she remembered, the church that loved her, and of course her dear friendships.
To help her process her grief and maintain connections to her friends, we bought postcards everywhere we went: a mitten-shaped postcard from Michigan, a flowery beach scene from Hawaii, a map of Ohio. The small box for text was the perfect size for a short message in her large, six-year-old handwriting. Brief observations from a tiny traveler.
When Jesse Middendorf invited me to join him on the Foundry’s 2020 Lent project, we discussed the approach we would take. We wanted the daily Scripture readings to be central, not peripheral, to the book. Devotionals that are double the length of the scriptural texts often send a subtle message: what I have to say about the text is more important than the text itself. So brevity would be our guide.
We also wanted the book to have a specific trajectory—a clear directionality from Ash Wednesday to Easter morning. As Jesus journeys to the cross through the Gospel story, we wanted readers to feel like companions on that journey. Our words would serve as observations from fellow travelers: This is the lay of the land. You must see the well in Samaria, the pool called Bethsaida. God is on the move. Each brief postcard ends with succinct questions that are intended to foster meaningful, sometimes even uncomfortable, reflection in the company of Christian community.
Ultimately, our hearts’ desire is to resource the church and foster meaningful engagement with the Lenten season. The discipline of submitting oneself to this unique church season can be formative and transformational as we strip away the excess and make room for God to move in and among us. We pray that our labor might serve as a catalyst for that divine work.
Soli deo gloria.
Lenten Postcards and the downloadable pastor’s resource is now available for purchase here.