(Reading time: two minutes). Lent is good for relationships. The problem with people like me and people like you, as we’re trying to walk through life together, is that we get in our own way. “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” If I were more lovable, more people would love me, but I’m not very. And the people who have the hardest time getting along with me are those closest to me. I’m not so bad with strangers. I’m pretty good with people for two or three days when we first meet, too. Sometimes it even takes a couple of months before my quirks and peculiarities start to rub people the wrong way. But Lent is the Lord’s great cure for strained relationships.I get in my own way. As Paul describes in Romans 7, I know what I want to do: I want to live in unity and love with everyone, especially those in my closest circles of relationships. But my cynical streak and my “gruntled” attitude when things don’t go my way result in lots of disgruntled people around me. The Lenten journey is a journey to the cross of Jesus, and the cross of Christ is the great equalizer of relationships. When my family and I, or when my church family and I join in the journey together, the road leads us to the cross, and there we cry out, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). When the garbage between us piles up, Jesus takes out the trash. “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). The gospel of forgiveness restores the unity between God and His creatures, and then it removes the “dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14) that exists between us because of our sin. The sharing of peace in church life is far more than a ritual; it’s an expression of the true unity that comes when we forgive as we’ve been forgiven. The Lenten journey to the cross is a humbling walk. When we confess, we are brought to reality, the reality of our own sin. And when we confess together, as families, as church families, the humility of saying those words of repentance right out loud in the hearing of those we love, is humbling, but also healing. It’s the chance to say in all truthfulness and honesty, “It’s me. I’m what’s wrong between us.” And hearing together, “You are forgiven. Now go. Love and forgive as you’ve been loved and forgiven,” is the cure for broken relationships. Where’s a relationship in your life that needs the healing touch of Jesus’ love? Meet together at the cross. It’s humbling, but it’s healing. God’s peace be with you. Thanks for reading. Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region? We’d love to hear from you. Contact our President/CEO Randy Fauser today to begin exploring the possibilities. Let’s have a conversation about bringing our Church Worker Retreat to your area soon!