I’ve had a hard time getting this post started. If I say what’s on my mind I have to open myself up some. But then, that’s the point of blogisery, isn’t it? It’s not that I haven’t made myself quite clear on things that I like, things I don’t, and how I feel on the myriad of stuff in between. But not so much about me.
I’m closing in on the end of my Lent, a lot of people’s Lent, and there should be some reflection going on now. We’ve been taught that Lent is a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Prayer happens as a matter of course. Fasting in America seems to be more centered on “what did you give up for Lent?” rather than understanding to use the time you are fasting from one thing to spend on time in prayer or giving. Almsgiving used to be easy when I was flush. I gave away more money than some people made in those forty days. And then…
Here’s where the reflection starts. As I was closing in on the last week of Lent I started to think of what I had done. Not much it seems. When I had to leave my job for health reasons three years ago I thought it was just a bump in the road. A little time off and I’d be back and all would be normal. A year went by and I had put in, aptly enough, about 40 days of work before I was back in the hospital. Another year and although I had three attempts at returning I spent no time on the job. The third year and I didn’t so much as not try as accepted that I can’t live that life any longer. Each year the giving of money, time, and self shrank.
While I was asking myself what I had done for Lent this year I could say that I prayed. More than on most days. Fasting was easy, I’ve had a few years practice on simplifying my life already and probably for the first time that I can recall I used the time that I would have otherwise been engaged in whatever in prayer, sort of like you’re supposed to. But I gave nothing. Some clothes to the St. Vincent dePaul Society. No big contributions to the church. Nothing to any charities. No help for any causes. I didn’t have it to give. I couldn’t even give time with half of my week tied up at dialysis. OK, so 3 days out of seven. And on the days I’m not there I’m gathering up strength for the next day I am there.
I used to so look forward to the Lenten season. Odd, perhaps. I guess it’s actually Easter and the traditions surrounding it that I look forward to but you can’t have Easter without Lent. Something about the solemnity of Lent and the crescendo reached on Easter Sunday is so different from anything else. For me, not being able to take complete part in all the season is like I’ve lost part of me.
Maybe in three days I’ll feel completely different. But today this is what I was thinking and that’s what I type when the time to type comes. Isn’t that the point of blogisery?
That’s what I think. Really. How ’bout you?