Saturday, February 26, 2011


Lent begins March 9th.

I'm seeing all of these facebook posts about Mardi Gras potlucks and parties and thinking about my faith community's Shrove Tuesday pancake supper and the prayer labyrinth and is placed on the floor of the building's sanctuary every year.  I'm thinking about what God wants this Lent to look like for me.

I know, first and foremost, it's about community (and this blog isn't something I've premeditated, it's all something that's coming to me as I write, which is sorta freaking me out, but I'm going with it).  I want to spend this Lent with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Not alone doing some giving up something thing by myself and watching everyone else do what they do from afar.  I want to engage with people and make connections. 

I'm beginning to feel that 2011 is about that for me.  Connections.  Community.  Unity in the Body, which has been on my heart for months.  Re-thinking my approach to "church".  I want to spend Shrove Tuesday with my community.  I don't know that that necessarily means going to the pancake supper.  Maybe it means a few people at our house for jambalaya and Common Prayer.  I don't know the answer.  But I think it will come to me. 

During Lent I am going to try and be more in tune with The Spirit.  God speaks.  I want to listen.  I want to truly hear what He has to say to me and for me and with me.  I want to be in tune with the groanings of my own soul, Spirit led, rather than mind led or heart led or led by the flesh.  I need to think about what that means.  I need to pray about it.  I need to remember that Belief is NOT Emotion and wade through the deep waters that pours out for me.

I felt months ago that I should stop cutting my hair during this period of Reflection in the Christian Year.  I'm still going to do that.  It terrifies me.

I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true.  I like my hair this way.  It's the first time I've felt like my hair on the outside is reflective of my self on the inside in some way.  I love how it looks.  I've gotten over the staring from other people - I can laugh at it now.  I feel like I've learned what I need to learn from it.  I don't think that means I need to change it, but for this period, it's something I need to do.  I need to have this outward change to reflect something that is going to go on inside.  Christianity is like that often, I think.  Baptism after a profession of faith, Samson's hair, The Essenes, John the Baptist and his camel skin.  There's something to be said about the physical.  The visual manifestation of the internal happening. 

I'm not sure what else I should be giving up for Lent.

Facebook comes to mind. 

I'm not sure if it's because it's what God wants me to give up or because I know that I spend a lot of time there and should probably start timing myself.  It's an addiction, I admit it - I know this because when I get home from somewhere, the first place I go is to the computer.  It's not just to check facebook.  I check facebook, my email, my blogs, and then I check facebook again, just to make sure I haven't missed something in the interim.  That's a little insane.

It's funny because on days when I don't check my email people flip out. 

I've received emails and messages from people who emailed or messaged me just twenty-four hours prior asking if I'm made at them or if they've offended me - panicking because I didn't respond right away.  This is a sickness.

Part of me wishes we could go back to pen and paper letters that came in the mail.  Instant gratification has really screwed with our priorities. 

It's funny, because you'd think if someone really thought I was upset with them or supremely offended (enough to cut off all contact), they would call, or come over, or something... but instead there is the panic-stricken email or fearful comment on my facebook page:  "Are you mad at me?"

I admit I do the same thing.

Oh my goodness, so and so hasn't called in a few days or hasn't commented or didn't respond to this or...  and I think they hate my guts, so I immediately type them a heartfelt email explaining that I'm afraid they hate me and confessing why I think it might be.

Insanity.  Really.

What has happened to us as a society?  This immediacy has surely gone to our heads.

But this is not to be a commentary on that.  This is supposed to be about Lent.  And me.  And you, maybe.

So I'm giving up cutting my hair.  I'll probably shave it for a finally time ceremoniously on Fat Tuesday.  Wednesday, maybe I'll try and hit up the prayer labyrinth.  Maybe take my son with me for Ash Wednesday.  And then?  A commitment to community is in order.  I'll keep you abreast as to what that looks like.

But for now, my two year old is screaming at me to pay attention to her, and I suppose, as a responsible parent, I should see to that.

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