It’s week 4 of Lent 2016.
This Lent has been unpredictable.
I entered the season with the flu.
Ash Wednesday? Didn’t happen.
Instead, I was curled up under piles of blankets just trying to stay warm.
And sleeping. A lot.
Finally feeling human again I re-entered the parish, discovering I was 2 weeks behind in everything.
Playing catch-up erased my hopes of reading a pile of books I’d set up for reflection.
See the last statement about being behind.
Even my technological hopes for spiritual expression were dashed as the Windows system on this machine crashed.
Many bad words were uttered from these lips.
Oops—there went the Lent hope to watch my language.
So what have I learned?
I have discovered, once again, the joy of humility.
Humus—of the soil and dirt and earth.
I am standing on firm ground.
I am grounded in God’s ever patient love.
Hmm…not a bad place to be.
This soil of humility has afforded me a place for the one consistent Lenten practice that has made any sense to me this year–a daily positing of the question of emptiness. Prior to both Ash Wednesday and the flu fun, and in lieu of fasting, I considered the idea of emptying myself of, well, something. I never had the chance to really flesh out this plan. Yet the one thought I could ponder as I was ill and each morning since is this: what needs to be emptied today? And each morning God directs me to yet another idea to chip away, to chew on, to ponder. One little step at a time, I am emptying myself of the toxic, uncompassionate ways of living that I allow to fill my heart space.
It is in this simple, quiet, humble ritual that I have learned a beautiful truth– I am being filled with grace and hope.
I am grateful.
Humility is so worth the Lent learning.