Perhaps if I scrolled through earlier posts I’d find previous descriptions of my present experience: Lent arrives, it seems good to “take on” some kind of new discipline (this year’s was to stop and DO anything I breezed by and said I didn’t have time to do-very interesting!) and then things happen, and I, or we all (perhaps) find we are living Lent and not just following a new rule.
Tomorrow we fly to England to attend the sad business and grief of my only brother-in-law’s sudden and unexpected passing. I recall the Prayer Book bidding, “Send us out to do the work You have given us to do.” Even as I ride the morning train into town after the brief, ice crunching dog walk, I know in a matter of hours life will tumble into a time warp. These winter scenes will melt away. It will be early spring in that southwest and although always on the colder side of cool, Spring will be trying to ready us for its arrival. Past griefs and joys will flood our souls, and we will ponder our small role in a vast but particular cosmos.
Everyday things like new laptops, check-ins from the kids, the news from our grocery store (Murphy’s cleaning supplies have been added: amazing) –all these pale. News of others’ losses steams to the foreground of thoughts and prayers. It’s been another season of losses in the lives of those around us, and now this family loss joins us with them in a sad but common fellowship.
While it might be good to wish everyone a loss-free Lent, it might be better to belatedly hope room can be made for moments of reflection. Shall we look behind or around us for courage, and ahead of us in gratitude? It is good to have another day to live and work here, in service and love for others.