“What are you giving up for Lent.” There’s more to Lent than just foregoing something enjoyable for six weeks.
Several years ago I bought into the Konmari plan for decluttering. Clothes were scattered across the floor from closets and rooms all over the house. Eventually the books were in piles in the living room. And with every new task, I found that recognizing my joy was coming easier and easier.
If you are not familiar with Marie Kondo’s method of cleaning out, it is a defined process to rid your home of anything that does not “spark joy,” and thus to clear away from your life all that would suck the joy out of living. Ask me. Yep, it works!
If it is appealing to you to remove the clutter from your life, then this is your holiday season: Lent. If you are spiritual but not religious, this season is tailor-made for you!
Lent is better understood as a short time to put all your life out on the floor and take a look at it. Pick up the pieces of your life and hold them for a moment. Then ask yourself one question:
Does this part of my life and identity produce good fruit--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
If you would like a day-by-day guide for this journey, you can access a “Lenten Calendar.” In our tradition this calendar is coupled with a fish bank offering for kids and the collection is offered on Easter Sunday in a special church-wide offering to help others.
Join us in sacrificing a few minutes every day to de-clutter and rediscover your joy.
After the month of Febraury are we as well versed in the history of Africans in the USA, their enslavement and subjugation, their resilience, their accomplishments, as we are in the history of European settlers and descendants?
We are still woefully behind in acknowledging the reality of white history as well.
I am so glad I have friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who, as people of color, have not given up on “educating Beverly.” While I am proactive in learning our whole history, and facing the present, to disentangle from my own racism, I am aware that I have blind spots to my benefits from white privilege. I need these willing neighbors to call me out.
They don’t have to. In many ways, they shouldn’t. Thankfully, they do! And it is not easy when they do. I get defensive, I admit. AND, I really try to stop talking and actually listen. Thankfully, my friends have been willing to wait with me to get on board.
Like a jazz band, that give and take, that listening and responding to the notes of the others, makes the music of life so much better!
I invite you to commit to a path of discovery and recovery from the racism that is the demon of our national inheritance. Love is the only One who can cast it out. Let’s love each other enough to transcend our dif-ferent skin tones in order to realize, and share in the creation of,