This week’s Lenten mediation is focused on our Easter Appeal to support Herzwerk. This ministry based in Vienna, Austria brings Jesus’ love and transforming power to those entrapped in or who have fled from sex trafficking.
If you’ve read about our Easter Appeal you’ll know that the virus pandemic has overwhelmed Herzwerk’s ability to meet the needs of those who come for help. They need to be able to hire another trained social worker.
You’ll also know that KGI Global is offering beautiful, hand-made clay earrings to anyone who gives a gift of $125 or more to the Easter Appeal. And for a gift of $35 or more, KGI is offering a wonderful calendar with artwork by survivors of trafficking that Herzwerk knows and serves.
You may wonder why anyone would want a 2021 calendar now. Over 25% of the year is gone. If you’re like me, you love the experience of opening up and hanging a new calendar on the first day of the new year when all of the days and all of the possibilities of that year lay before you. But the value of this calendar is the message of the missing months.
I was reminded of what happened to me in 2020. As usual, on the first day of January, I was eager to hang my calendar on the wall. As usual, I had purchased the calendar in Maine during my 2019 summer vacation. It featured a beautiful color photo of the New England coastline for each month.
January and February sped by, and then March. The virus and the global pandemic arrived, and the lockdown began. Before I knew it, it was November, and my wall calendar was still showing the Cape Cod beach in Wellfleet, Massachusetts that I had turned to in March.
In the bizarre conditions of 2020, where one day, one week, one month ran into the next while simultaneously feeling interminably long, I had forgotten about the calendar that was six inches from the light switch I turned on and off every day. I had missed the blue skies and Queen Anne’s Lace of April in Kennebunkport. I had neglected May’s rocky cliffs with the plucky little Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport. The calm harbor of Rockport had stayed in the untouched calendar pages as June passed by. Acadia National Park, the beautiful origin point of American sunrise each day, never graced my wall in July. Neither Mystic nor New Haven took their places in the following months. Nor did beautiful little Camden, Maine — October’s page — and the reason why I bought that particular calendar in the first place.
I felt sorry for myself for missing all those months on the calendar. I regretted all the planned events that had not happened. Numbed acquiescence replaced excited anticipation. I didn’t even get to Maine to buy a 2021 calendar!
My losses, I realize, are nothing compared to those experienced by those who lost loved ones, their businesses, their own health and so many other things during this wretched pandemic. Calendar pages ripped off and thrown away, along with the unfulfilled potential that they signfied.
Now think about the women, girl, and boy victims of trafficking represented by the Herzwerk calendar. They have lost not only the months of 2020, but years of their lives. Whether stolen from them or wasted by them, they are years that the locusts have eaten. Herzwerk is reaching out to them, helping them to see that God loves them, and that He can restore and redeem those years.
That is why I believe that the 2021 Herzwerk calendar is of great value, even though three months have passed. If you give a gift to the Easter Appeal, receive a calendar, and hang up that calendar, you will remember those represented by the art on those pages for the months to come. And you will remember those whose lives have slipped away, month by month, in those pages that are already torn off or turned over on the calendar.
The deep truth to all of this though is that the Lord God, the Ancient of Days, for whom a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day, knows and cares about every month on every person’s calendar. He will redeem all of our wasted and stolen pages. He will restore them all.
Prayer: Holy Father, we thank You that our times are in Your hands. The times that we have celebrated, and the times that we have mourned. Thank You for Your love for those who walk as the dead, who believe that they have thrown away their years or had them wrenched away. Enter their lives and transform them, Jesus. And be with those who are ministering Your love to them. Protect them, give them Your anointing, and fill them with Holy Spirit for speaking new life into these wounded ones. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.