Suzy says I am getting too upbeat, which is a first coming from her about my Lenten meditations. Usually she says I am too solemn, and I need to be more upbeat. Oh well.
I have experienced Lent for many years, so I no longer dread the 40 days of fasting and solemnity, but rather look forward to it. It is similar to a long visit with friends after a long absence. It reminds me of times in a rocking chair on their large front porch. At times, everyone would be inside in the kitchen, and as the breeze cooled the porch, I would engage in reflection and a type of personal worship. Then as I was joined by my friends and neighbors stopping by just to say hello, we would begin to talk about how friends were doing, each other’s health, and the events since our last visit. There is a lot of love, repentance, reconciliation, and forgiveness that goes on during those conversations. Everyone takes their turn talking and then listening. Now and then a silence might occur and instead of someone speaking, one might receive a hug, a squeeze of a hand, or a gentle knowing smile.
The Lenten Season can be like a porch visit. We sometime need to retreat to a place of comfort for quite reflection and conversations with God. Other times we inquire about the needs of others and engage in forgiveness and reconciliation. We talk and act with humility, as we would in front of our best friends, who know us only too well, and will call us to task if we pretend to be someone other than ourselves. We practice the art of silence and how to communicate love through a touch of the hand, and a quiet smile. All in all, the Lenten Season is a time to come home, and sit on the porch swing of God.