This is again Lent, and I was pleased three years ago to try photographing shopping carts, at the side of a street. In the photo, few people, even no one, are on hand who need them. The shopping carts speak to an absence.
The Bible in Numbers 32 details how the Israelites were lost, for so long, that they were reduced an entire generation.
Reminders that The Lord is a vengeful deity are important. In Numbers 32:13-15 The Lord feels burning anger at Israel. It is important that we remain optimistic, but pragmatic, about future generations prospering.
In the photo I took, shopping carts have been abandoned by the shoppers. Likewise in Numbers 32:13-15, Israel lost an entire generation by resisting the influence upon them, of The Lord.
The passing sight of lined-up shopping carts reminds an onlooker that there was a human presence, but it has dispersed. Whoever was responsible for the decision to make a spectacle of wayward shopping carts is gone now. Perhaps this is common in every community, but something is incorrect about the moment.
I found these verses from the Book of Numbers to suggest what I am showing.
For what reason was Israel reviled with forty years to meander?
13 The LORD’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the desert forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.
14 “And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the LORD even more angry with Israel. 15 If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the desert, and you will be the cause of their destruction.”
Despite all this, Lent remains for me in middle age a challenge to observe.