For Lent I will be joining with a group of friends on Facebook to follow a Living Compass production, Living Well through Lent: Listening With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind. I am also renewing my commitment to daily prayer and meditation during Lent. I look forward to it!
My Ash Wednesday was different than usual, though. I kept my precious granddaughter during the day, so was unable to make a noon service. Instead we ran in the front yard, watched the movie Trolls, danced and sang, read books, and played Barbies and other games. It was all very alive and lively. We looked at lots of evidences of Spring: tall grass, redbuds budding, trees putting out leaves.
In the evening, I went to visit a friend who's being assessed in a local mental hospital. It's absolutely the best place for this person to be, and I desperately hope that the assistance provided there will be taken into account and a path toward wellness and healing be reached.
I hated to miss the evening Ash Wednesday service with my community of faith. But afterwards, I thought that the place I had been was also a place of ashes, in a way. Present there were much hope and possibility (my friend is young! so much potential! so much ahead!) with the gritty taste of seeing people who were probably not going to get better, or who had lived terribly hard lives, or were in very bad places yesterday.
I'll be trying to hold on to this balance throughout Lent.