I am following a Lenten Guide that uses the work of the artist Henri Matisse to point me in a direction of seeing and acting by assigning a color for each week! This week the color is GREEN.

The commentator writes:the green of wilderness, of growth, of new leaves, of new life. (SALT. 2023)

So the Lenten week I am trying to notice what is Green. Some it is obvious:

  • the nature preserve I visited yesterday is resplendent with every hue and shade of Green possible after rain
  • in the sanctuary of Sunday Green winked our from chancel flowers, choir stalls, and stained glasss windows
    • Refrains of songs once loved bubble up:
    • “Green, Green, it’s Green they say on the far side of the hill”
    • “Now the Green blade rises…wheat arising green”
    • and “who but my Lady Greensleeves!”
  • Hildegard of Bingen says: The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity. This word manifests itself in every creature.

I have begun noticing what Spirit has Greened in people I love and know:

  • the one to whom ministry was denied that now has a blossoming, full ministry in a place they never imagined
  • the grieving one who has found a new community of caring, taking her beyond what seemed to be the due of her grief
  • the one who has taken a step toward recovery where no steps seemed possible.

Lenten Green is showing itself as life out of loss, growth out of barrenness, beauty in wildness. And my response is to burst forth with praise.

I know there is a shadow to Green. Kermit of Sesame Street has reminded me over and over that “It’s not easy being Green!” In common parlance, Green is often associated with Envy. If I am honest, in this Lenten season, I admit that the presence of envy in my life needs attending, even repentance, something to notice and bring into my Lenten prayer.

As I allow the Spirit to lead, I will stay in the Green, attending to the ways the Spirit brings life–and Surprise!