Lent: Developing A Grant Writer’s Superpower

Happy Lent to all missionaries out there!

In late 2021, we shared a message with you at the beginning of Advent.  We wrote about “waiting”, waiting for a birth that changed our lives forever.  We also quoted the French spiritual writer Simone Weil, who wrote that “waiting is the basis for any relationship with God.”

Now here we are again, entering another time of waiting: Lent.  But our waiting is different this time and as grant writers, I believe these 40 days hold a time of paradoxical “superpower” for us.  What do I mean?

During Advent, we know what we are waiting for and the story ends in joy, the birth of the Christ, God’s entering humanity with an unmatchable, irreplaceable gift.

During Lent, we also know what we are waiting for: resurrection, another irreplaceable, unmatchable gift.  BUT the paradox of Lent is that this gift comes through the appearance of failure, rejection, denial:  the complete humility and surrender of Jesus.

I suggest to you that this paradox is our superpower.  To center ourselves in humility and surrender does not mean that we don’t give 100% effort and try and write the best grant application (in fact, many applications!) BUT THAT ONCE WE HAVE DONE THAT we center ourselves in humility and surrender to the outcome.  And there is great freedom in this surrender.  There is also great confidence in this because who better than the Crucified did exactly the same thing?

I think this is why another famous spiritual writer, Thomas Merton, wisely reminds us in New Seeds of Contemplation: “Humility is the surest sign of strength.”

So do your best. Apply. Get denied or rejected.  Apply again.  Use all aids available, then submit with hope and ask for the grace of humility that these 40 days of Lent are here to give us.

Our continued hopes and prayers for your ministries and your own experience of God’s closeness to you!