Yesterday my two-year-old was with me as we opened the garage door early to head to church. An inch or more of snow had fallen overnight, quickly disguising all the spring weather we’d been enjoying. Emmanuelle began saying something, but I was only half-listening. I assumed it was a word about the fresh snow or “church day” or something she saw in the garage. As my ears tuned in, I realized I didn’t recognize what she was saying–they weren’t familiar words coming from her little mouth. When I finally tuned in for real, there they were–clear as day…
“Birds are singing. They’re talking.”
And indeed they were!
It had been months since I last heard them, and I don’t think I’d ever heard my girl point it out to me. Even more, I was amazed that minus her freshly tuned senses, I’d likely have missed the sound altogether.
As we drove, it struck me that Lent is something like this. It is a season where routines are intended to break down, at least enough to allow for some fresh listening. Themes like repentance and confession unclog our ears and give volume to some voices and some matters which we may have been muffling with a poorly-shaped life.
And we might be shocked to wonder, “How long have those birds been singing, and I never even heard them?”