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O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look. What is your first impression of this image? Now look more deeply, and note the earthy colors, the variety of stones, large and small, that are carefully arranged to form an arrow.  Imagine yourself on a journey, feeling lost, then coming upon this display of stone.  How would you feel?  What would you think or say or do?

Reflect.  Someone took great care to create this arrow to help people who might be lost along the way.  Perhaps others replenish the stones from time to time, after they are disturbed by heavy rains.  So this type of sign creation is not a one-time event.  It requires ongoing maintenance.  One reality of life is that we all get lost at some point.  Not just physically, being off the beaten path.  A sense of being lost spiritually is part of life.  Part of the Lenten experience for many of us. Recall a time when this was so for you. In the words of today’s Collect, we ask for help from the Divine One to bring us back when we go astray. 

Act.  Look for a sign that directs you to act according to God’s will, to the following of the way of the Jesus Movement.  Know that you also are a sign to others, a kind of arrow of stones that points toward compassionate actions. What do you have to offer? This may be a simple word, a look, a small gesture, or some bold act.

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Arrow of Stones ”   /Place: Camino de Santiago, Spain   /Photographer: Jon Shematek