I have been debating whether to write this for weeks now. And once I decided to write it, I turned over and over in my head the question of whether or not to share it with anyone [and everyone, as the case may be].
At the risk of sounding a bit Doom and Gloom, I have to level with you guys and say this is the hardest, weirdest, most difficult Lenten season I have had yet. There has been lots of uncertainty, sadness, fear, brokenness, and anxiety. There has been a little reprieve here and there. But even that seems strained and out of place.
So, if we haven’t talked in a while, forgive me. I haven’t known where to start, and I haven’t wanted to trap you under a fast-flowing stream of molten Sad.
It’s the strangest feeling; it’s not just introspection. It’s something like isolation. Lately, I feel like I am a million miles away from how my life used to be. And not in the inspirational, empowering chick pop kind of way, either. And I feel a million miles away from figuring any of it out. In spite of the love I know surrounds me, it seems the comfort of even my closest friends is still somehow out of my reach. My whole life has that feeling you get when you realize you are light years away from the stars.
Philo of Alexandria [or Plato, or your mom] once said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” Everyone. The guy that cut you off in traffic, the girl who is mean to you at work, the annoying close-talker seated next to you on the bus. Every single person you come into any kind of contact with has it rough in some way. Sounds kind of emo, right? But held up to the right light, it can be comforting to know we’re not alone, even though it is easy to feel that way when the going gets dodgy.
We’re all getting tested this time of year. Lent (and life, to an extent) seems to be the kind of thing where, if it’s not difficult, you’re probably not going about it the right way. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself lately.
But we have the solace of Grace to comfort us, even when it seems very dark. And when it’s difficult to discern its coming from Above, we can do our best to share it amongst ourselves. In other words, hang in there. I love you. You’re doing just fine.
O, Lord and Master of my life
Grant me not a spirit of sloth, meddling, lust for power and idle talk.
But grant unto me, thy servant, a spirit of integrity, humility, patience, and love.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults, and not to condemn my brother,
For Thou art blessed unto Ages of Ages. Amen.- the Prayer of St Ephrem