Sarah Parsons recently completed a master's degree at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work and intends to become a psychotherapist. She holds a BA in Religious Studies from Yale University and a master of divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Sarah worked at Upper Room Ministries as a website editor from 1999 to 2002. She has had articles published in Weavings, Alive Now, Devo'Zine, and on In her spare time, Sarah enjoys running, yoga, other sports and hanging around in cafes.
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A Clearing Season

Reflections for Lent  
Sarah Parsons
Cities across the world celebrate Mardi Gras with colorful parades and over-the-top parties. Then Ash Wednesday arrives … Sigh. Lent has begun. You hear about devout friends giving up seemingly innocent things like chocolate or stressing out as they try to live a more perfect life during six grueling weeks—for reasons you don't completely understand. Sermons about penitence are preached, and guilt soaks the congregation. Sound like a good time?! It's time to rethink Lent. Or at least see it f...