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Lenten Lights W ~ An Advantage in Failure?

Skull Rock

Sarah Lewis says in the opening chapter of The Rise, “I was focused on improbable rises because I was beginning to live with the gift of what it means to be underestimated. What happens when the world often assumes, before you’ve even uttered a word, that you could be a failure — based on not fitting a given expectation of the human package in which some expect to find excellence — and how have people turned that into an advantage to meet their aspirations, their dreams?”

I like this question. I think humans often underestimate each other by assumption and stereotype and numerous other intentional and unintentional ways. Ezekiel certainly underestimates the skulls and fibulas and sternums he finds in the Valley. When asked if they might live, he stutters, “God only knows!” Even the bones themselves, when reassembled, and held together with muscle and skin, still see themselves as failures: dried up, no hope, cut off. It’s a weird scene out there in the Valley of Dry Bones. And yet. And yet, the Spirit of God breathes new life into those bones. And they rise up and dance.

How have you been underestimated? Who do you underestimate? What might turn the expectation of failure into an advantage, a new path, a rise to a new life?

God of lenten light, shine into dry and deadly valleys we occupy. Breathe your spirit into the dead places. Teach us a new song and dance. Plant us in our own soil, and give us life. 

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