Carl has been attending St. Augustine’s for almost four years now, arriving shortly before starting a Ph.D. program in the English Department at The Ohio State University. He has been a member of the vestry for almost three years, and the junior warden for a year and a half. He enjoys teaching, reading, and writing, as well as hanging out with the “St. Augustine homies”, to borrow a phrase from Fr. Kevin.Every Lent, though filled with the same rituals and liturgies, teaches me something new about myself and how I relate to the world. Thanks to some pesky sickness and traveling, I’ve felt somewhat out of sorts this Lent, unable to attend church every Sunday and establish the same rituals that I normally do. Yet like every Lent, I’ve been reminded, once again, of one of the Church’s central missions on the earth in this age: waiting and remembering. There is a cadence to the church calendar, where we find ourselves in seasons of waiting, during Advent and Lent primarily, to prepare us for seasons of action. While waiting during Lent can carry a certain kind of joy, this Lent has felt tinged with more than its fair share of sadness, both within our own church family and in the broader world. In our contemporary society, where we are beset by the tyranny of efficiency and the constant pressure to be doing something, the concept of waiting seems foreign, even difficult. When the waiting seems to have no end or discernible purpose, it becomes even more difficult. We want to run away, to escape from the discomfort and uncertainty. But Lent calls us to enter into that discomfort, to wait alongside others and share in their struggles. This Lent, I’ve waited in grief with those who have lost loved ones, looking forward to the hope of reunion in the next age. I’ve waited with empathy with friends struggling, trying to figure out which direction to take in their life. I’ve waited with myself, examining my own perspectives and thinking about how to impact those around me for good. This waiting, however, is not one in which we do nothing because we don’t think we can make a difference in the world. We actively wait, filled with the hope that the Lord will raise us up from our struggles, just as he rose on Easter Sunday. Importantly, this active waiting serves to prepare us to go out into the world and take action. Jesus did not rise from the dead to give us a ticket to some ethereal afterlife—he rose from the dead to give us life, and life abundantly, starting now, even in the midst of our broken world. This life gives us freedom to act, not out of compulsion or legalism, but out of a deep and abiding love for the people and world around us, following the example of the resurrected Jesus. Likewise, the resurrection life also gives us freedom to wait in the grace of God, during Lent and in other seasons of our life, as we also follow the example of our Lord during his Passion. This is the Christian life on this side of eternity, one where the seasons ebb and flow, where the Lord calls us to action and to wait, beautifully modeled by the church calendar. So, whatever you might find yourself waiting for this Lent, take heart, for you are waiting alongside Christ and, more importantly, he waits alongside you.