...it was years and years ago that we did a week of vacation in northern Indiana with another couple, close friends, exploring Amish country
...getting to know a couple of Amish families, hours spent driving country lanes at the "speed of buggies" because there was not room to zoom around them and hurry on down the compact lanes, did begin to cause we four to slow down in several important ways
...the amazing things we got into during that time out make a great story for another time
…if the season of Lent has to do with the travail and temptations of Jesus for 40 days in the wilderness…and it does
…if, beginning yesterday, Ash Wednesday, the 40 days are really 47 days, including 7 Sundays, including Palm Sunday and Easter (April 12), which is 47 days from yesterday…and that's the way the count comes out
…giving up something meaningful, soulish, change-worthy, that will inform how you will live out your God-ward involved life…and that's part of what Lent was/is meant to do
…then something of substance needs to change besides not eating chocolate, not going to the movies, not more yelling at the dog, etc., change needs to take place to inform your soul of a better, deeper, richer, more life-giving way to live in this world
...frankly, a "must read," when you can take some ponder time, for all of us...for me, several times today.......for perspective in these hard, amazing, crazy times in which we are all living...almost
...circumstances prevailed, and I/we did not get to attend or participate in a "formal" Ash Wednesday service
...as the hours of yesterday were spent attending to the needs of a family we hold close as they wait for the pending death of their 10yo daughter
...driving home later last night, Judy reached over and squeezed my hand and said, "You seem quiet......."
...I was...realizing that the sacred privilege of the day had us engaged, from the heart out, in a 12 hour Ash Wednesday service that only the Spirit could have orchestrated
...no priest or pastor has placed the ashen "holy tattoo" of the cross on my forehead as this season has begun
...but a bit ago, as I pondered the holiness of yesterday, and prayed about the pending holiness of today, it seemed like I felt the holy thumb of the Spirit giving me the beginning mark of this season...so much so that I reached up to see if black ash would be on my fingers
...it wasn't...but the sensation remains...........for the moment
...and thus, we step into the Second Day of Lent for 2009
* * * * * * *
...the "'09 Lenten Challenge--Part Two" will appear later today.......
...so between now and then, please scroll back up, click on my friend's name, and read his blog post about his experience of yesterday...Ash Wednesday 2009
Yesterday, driving about 6 AM on C-470 from Parker (where we live) to the Panera's at Aspen Grove on S. Sante Fe to do breakfast with my good friend, Don, I was practicing hard the challenge I want to suggest…and will be doing my best to carry out. Over the next several days I hope to give you some things to think about that, I sincerely believe, will dynamically enhance your 2009 Lenten journey.
Today, Ash Wednesday, I'm sitting at a busy coffee place in Colorado Springs (confession: eavesdropping a bit on a wild conversation at the next table), spending some desired time getting this "challenge" crafted for this series of Lenten blogs. Driving down here this AM from home with my wife, I had some more good practice at the challenge. Judy is spending the day with a dear friend who has a very ill child…and this was my day of the week to reflect and write, so I'm "hiding out in plain sight" to chase valued several projects into my computer.
...and we so often want to think of this sort of thing as "elsewhere"
...but it's happening in a town or on a street near you
...even here in a great metropolis like Denver, and it's burbs
...as I've come to mentor some groups (...talk about being among living saints who so faithfully are creating sacred space and points of reclamation!!!...) that are working with the sordid and sad issue of human trafficking
...not a comfortable topic, and intriguing how people, in their discomfort, can shut the eyes of their soul to such happenings