Lent, So Far

Today is Tuesday following the third Sunday in Lent…  So far, here is my Lenten experience:  Ash Wednesday at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Fort Worth (noon service among hundreds but no one I knew), First Sunday of Lent at St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Houston (I was a little late after picking up relatives from the airport), the following Wednesday evening reconciliation service (again I was a little late–they started earlier than planned so I was late even though really a little early), Second Sunday of Lent skipped church with my priest husband (who was OFF after weeks and weeks of multiple liturgies) and slept in, and last but not least, the Third Sunday of Lent (last Sunday) back at St. Stephen’s and once again a little bit late…  Kind of a ragamuffin effort so far.  And, I had plans to blog my way through Lent–writing daily?  Writing weekly?  Reflecting on scripture?  Or, I wondered, what about a digital sabbatical?  Taking a real break and no Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress…

Well, none of the above is the answer.  “None of the above” is the right answer, at least for me.  If nothing else, I have learned over the years that the season of Lent comes with its own opportunities, sought or not, intentional or not, to stare in the face of our own humanity.  I have joked before that for me it makes no sense to “give something up” for Lent (even though I usually do, in fits and spurts) because somehow each year, it works out that Lent takes something from me whether I give anything up or not.  And so, I wonder if this desert season isn’t in the end really about just being with who we are–with all our good intentions and all our frustrations and perhaps even all our broken promises.  There is not much in our culture that supports immersion into the Lenten path.  And yet, staring at the news on TV, we have seen earthquakes and tsunamis and bombs falling and death and darkness and budget cuts and lots of suffering with little solace available.  So, the starkness of Lent seems to echo the angry and sad chaos of our planet.  It is not so easy to be who we are after all.

We wait for Resurrection.  It seems a long time coming, though we know It has already come and in fact is already here.  The Texas wildflowers alone proclaim it.  Bluebonnets, snapdragons, buttercups all beginning to bloom…  In another three weeks, we will be in the midst of Holy Week and approaching the Triduum celebration of Maundy Thursday/Good Friday/Holy Saturday and Easter.  There will be time for candy and tulips and singing Alleluia in church and a day off from work and school (unless of course you are a clergy person), and it will be the very climax of our common liturgical year.  New life all around and for everyone…

So, I am hanging in there–blogging or not, writing or not, trying to catch the balls that are thrown my way as best I can. And even in the very middle of Lent, I see the grace apparent when we allow ourselves to be just who we are, even when we are not sure who that is.  God knows, God sees, Grace abounds. 

When simply showing up becomes our spiritual practice, we can open to what lies in front of us.  The unexpected surprises us, even in Lent. There is room for all of us and there is no such thing as not doing Lent “right.” And so, I wish you a holy Lent and the space and time to behold Light and Grace in your heart and in your life…just as it is.

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One Response to Lent, So Far

  1. Tica Gibson says:

    Right you are, Sarah. Humans keep finding ways to separate from God and each other and yet God finds ways to let us know that grace abounds. Bluebonnets are a nice touch. The cardinal in our yard does it for me, too!

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