Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Seek the Lord and Live

I am deeply unsettled this year as we enter Lent. I am not the best at keeping resolutions, and my track record at keeping Lenten commitments is uneven at best. I gave up soda one year (except for eating out), and that worked out pretty well.  One year I took on working out every day, and well, that wasn't my most faithful year. One year I gave up folding my children's underwear, and I am happy to report that was most successful, and to this day I just throw it all in the drawer, inside out and all.

I gave up meat and dairy one year, and by the time Easter came along, I was insufferable by all accounts. I roasted a cow for Easter dinner.

One year I gave up a person for Lent. It was...necessary. 

This year has been difficult in ways I can't blog about. Loss and grief has piled one on top of the
other, and the winter has been long. As I come in to Lent, I feel that I have already been wearing sack cloth and ashes. 

I was driving tonight, and a memory came to me. It was 10 years ago maybe, and I was at the beach for a memorial service. A toddler in my son's preschool had died suddenly, and the staff and parents gathered with his mother a few days later to grieve. It was a beautiful day, and we all had brought flowers to toss in the ocean. The mother joined us and began to wail. She wept and moaned and cried and collapsed into a chair. I had never seen such public grief, and I hovered uncertainly. 

Her grief stayed with me. My own son was the same age as her son. But I hadn't yet known the kind of loss and grief that knocks you to the ground. She taught me that day that when grief wells up faster than can be expressed, it slams into you hard enough to take your breath away. I watched her and didn't understand. But it stayed with me. She made sure we would never forget that her baby with his beautiful brown eyes and dimpled giggle was gone. She made sure.

So when I lost my breath this year, I collapsed into a chair. And I wailed loudly. And I've made people uncomfortable. And I'm not done lamenting.

I come to Lent and there are 46 days of sackcloth and ashes. 46 days to repent and reLent (as my friend Wayne puts it). 46 days to release, to make room for joy, for transformation, for resurrection.

I come to the daily scriptures in search of something to hang on to. Out of context, my eyes move to Amos 5:6, "Seek the Lord and live." I can't move beyond that line--my heart stays stubbornly here: seek the Lord and live.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
In life and death I belong to the Lord.
May I come to trust that.

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