Holding Space

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When a person has just gone through a big life change, some people respond by saying, “I’m holding space for you right now.” It might be a death in their family, the excitement of a new job, or even a big mistake made. So how exactly does a person “hold space” for someone else–are we architects who can add new rooms onto the person’s emotional home? Are we astronauts who can grasp a handful of zero-gravity outer space in our gloved hands?

According to an article in Psychology Today, holding space means “to be with someone without judgment. To donate your ears and heart without wanting anything back. To practice empathy and compassion. To accept someone’s truth, no matter what they are. … Holding space means to put your needs and opinions aside and allow someone to just be.”

The church season of Lent is almost upon us, beginning Wednesday, February 17 with Ash Wednesday. You and I are going through things–whether we have collective community feelings (double pandemic, rampant unemployment, high Covid anxiety) or individual feelings, Lent offers us a period of 40 days (plus Sundays) to hold space for ourselves and each other.

No judgment, fully donating our ears and heart, allowing us to just be. Oftentimes we are our own harshest critics, and Christ invites us to knock down our walls, embrace the goodness from God, sit in some stillness and simply be. Making space is about caring for ourselves AND each other simultaneously, asking for help and pouring our mess out at the foot of the cross; we don’t have to “do” anything.

How do you want to “Lent” this year?

  • get in touch with yourself and what’s swirling inside of you, especially the parts buried deep down?
  • dig up a deep peace and joy that you haven’t felt in a long while?
  • finally clear out that closet of pain that you are tired of ignoring?

Whichever focus you want to approach (and there are so many–from cleaning out literal closets to emotional sweeping), may you do so with your whole heart, mind and soul. And may you feel that deep love of Christ as you journey.

I am excited about Holmeswood’s approach to Lent this year–daily Facebook Lives and posts with Scriptural discussion, events with local musicians’ concerts, devotionals, guest speakers, centering prayer practices and even songs to ponder. “Listening To Lent” means we will audibly and internally “hear” Christ’s words to each of us in new, meaningful ways this season. I hope you join in the journey of your lenten life. We can walk together.

Happy Friday! Stay warm, and know you are loved.


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