If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you could anticipate that today’s blog would be about the trouble with family gatherings. You could anticipate I would write about why I LOVE family gatherings, why they have essentially been one of the most difficult events, and how we have managed to ‘get better’ at the gatherings.
Alas, I like to surprise readers!
If you want to read about the difficult of family gatherings…read these posts:
Today’s post? Not about family gatherings…not at all. Lent is my favorite liturgical season. I know – it seems odd. Most people love advent – because it’s a celebration of the waiting for the birth (Christmas). Not me – I love Lent.
It’s a season of opposition.
I love Lent because it begins with ashes on my forehead and my Pastor saying, “From dust you came, to dust you shall return.” Seriously, to have someone look you in the eye and remind you that you are going to die? Woofta…that’s heavy stuff. It also reminds me that I am alive. It reminds me that every day I get another chance to do better. As a mom, I need this reminder. I need new days.
I love Lent because it also marks the beginning of spring. As we travel the 40 days of Lent – our trees begin to bud and come back to life. A spring shower turns our grass green from the crunchy, dead brown we’ve seen for months. It reminds me that something beautiful always follows something…not so beautiful. As a mom, I need this reminder. I need to know that ‘this too shall pass.’
I love Lent because it is simple, it is not full of consumerism. When I go to a store I don’t see shelves and shelves of ‘stuff’ trying to be sold to me to celebrate the season. Sure, there is plenty when we get to Easter – but it’s private. As a mom, I need this reminder. I need to know there are still some things sacred enough in life that they aren’t commercialized.
I love Lent because I’m reminded of the struggle. Life can be hard. Let me rephrase, life is hard. It’s been hard forever. The Israelites wandered for 40 years. 40! As a mom, I need this reminder. When I’m ‘lost’ on any given day – I need the reminder that it’s just one day.
I love Lent because I’m reminded of the imperfection of life. Jesus wandered in the wild for 40 days. 40 days full of trial and temptation. As a mom, I need this reminder. I need to remember that my own journey is full of imperfection – of trial and temptation, of uncertainty and uncomfortableness. I need to remember that each decision makes my story unique. With that comes the power of forgiveness – for others and for myself.
I love Lent because of the story of the Passion. We all bear a cross. We all have heaviness weighing on our hearts and souls. As a mom, I need this reminder. What may seem trivial to me – may be a huge deal to my children. Tucker’s cross is much larger than anything I have ever carried, this reminder helps me to extend more patience.
I love Lent because we wash each other’s feet. We serve each other – not one being better than another. As a mom, I need this reminder. I’m reminded that I cannot do this on my own. I need to serve others by washing their feet, and have others wash mine.
All of that leads to Easter. These women come to a tomb – they are so sad, they are worried for their future, they are concerned about humankind. The tomb was empty.
Terrifying. And amazing.
That moment had to bring hope, astonishment, and amazement – I know because I feel that every time I hear the story…even though the story hasn’t changed in my 39 years.
That title? Not a typo – that is the the Greek word ‘ecstasies’ which is translated from amazement. It also means “change of place.”
That is what I count on, daily. I often infuse faith into my writing – because I often need this change of place. I recognize that my attitude, my disposition, my reaction to others, and my happiness are just that – my own. So, when we’re having a tough day around here, I remember ecstasies. There will be a change of place and I’m reminded…
Easter is only sweet – because of Lent.
After our most trying moments – everything will change – it has to. That moment has to die, like Lent. I have to move on to a better place, like Easter.
While I may be in the same ‘place,’ I’m standing in a very different place and that place is full of forgiveness, life, and hope.