Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dear Lent,

Hey, old friend! It's been awhile. Almost a year. How are you? I'm looking forward to seeing you next week when you arrive. I always love a good trek in the desert.

Funny thing about you, though -- you always kind of sneak up on me. Well, not exactly ... I always feel as if you sneak up on me, but the truth is, you are stirring in little corners of my mind for days and weeks before you arrive. I may tell everyone, "I have no idea what I'm doing for Lent this year - I haven't thought about it," but in truth, the thoughts are there, somewhere. A bit buried, a bit hidden, even from myself. They are mostly prayers -- sometimes spoken, sometimes silent -- for guidance about what I need to do. (What to give up? What new habit to establish? How to deepen my prayer life? Time to examine the maxim I say I want to live by, but so often fail at: "Lord, let me serve without counting the cost.")

So, I've got five days before you show up on my doorstep, Lent. Are you going to come bearing gifts? Surprises? You're good that way. I never know what to expect from you. Sometimes, I must admit, you exasperate me, especially when I've planned for us to have a particular kind of get-together, and then you turn the tables on me and bring up all sorts of stuff I hadn't planned to deal with during your visit. You know how to push my buttons. But that's okay. We're good enough friends that we can weather those storms. And, come to think of it, I always come away from your button-pushing feeling stronger. And better. Recharged. Huh. It's almost as if you knew it would happen that way. Maybe you aren't trying to be annoying.

Oh, Lent. You always give me something to think about. Can't wait to see you.



If you've been writing letters to Lent lately, too, or if you're just looking for ideas about the season, you can find lots of them in this series of posts: A Meaningful Lent: The Monstrously Long Post.


Andrea said...

Great percolation of the mind Karen! I too ponder, 'deeply hidden', my Lenten journey far before Ash Wednesday. I must admit, I'm not as "fond" of good ole Lent as you are. Sometimes there is a sense of pure panic. I noticed in the Sunday missal the words, "Ash Wednesday" and that feeling of, "Oh my gosh, it's already here!" start to flood my mind! But alas, I resolve to "take it on"! It's an inner cleansing, a kind of vacuum to suck out the dust balls that have collecting for months. Lord help us all to get some serious 'cleaning' done this Lent!

Karen Edmisten said...

I can relate to that sense of panic. I seem capable of looking forward to something while simultaneously panicking about it. :)

Sarah said...

This is such a great post/letter! I love it, Karen!! I, too, have been pondering Lent, how to prepare, what to do, etc. I am trying not to come up with a big, long to-do list, as I am known for ... But rather I want to focus on doing (whatever I end up doing) with LOVE, even if it's small ... To be intentional and focused, rather than just checking things off my list, you know?!

Oh! And thank you for the suggestions about Sunday! I really appreciate your ideas! Maybe some I can work on this Lent :-)

Debbie said...

I am new to the Liturgical world and am trying to read A Meaningful Lent, but it seems to be unavailable. Is there any chance it will be available soon for those of us newbies hoping to glean from your experience and wisdom?

Karen Edmisten said...

Hi, Debbie!

My apologies! I updated the Meaningful Lent post last year, but somehow this link to it died.

I just corrected the link on this post, and you can find A Meaningful Lent here.

Thank you for asking and for making me aware of the bad link!

Let me know if you have any questions, and I wish you a beautiful Lent, and welcome to the beauty of the liturgical year!

Debbie said...

Thank you so much!

Karen Edmisten said...

You're most welcome!