Lent: Days 2 & 3.

I’ve had the opportunity and time to sit down and write the past two days but have chosen not to. It’s good to rest.

On Thursday, I went to Liturgical Chapel with Hannah. At one point, they asked us to quietly free our minds and listen to the Word of God spoken three times in three voices. They read Romans 8:26 {ish and around}.. three different people, three different versions. Each time we were encouraged to pick up on a word or a phrase that seemed to resonate with us, and to focus on that. Mine grew each time. Groaning deeper than words was what bounced in my head over and over. The Spirit’s interceding for us with groaning deeper than words. It was a great practice, followed by the Eucharist and the opportunity to be anointed with oil and prayed for. While praying for me, he mentioned a verse I’ve been thinking about a lot.

2 Timothy 2:17
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

It is strange to me that self-discipline is given in response to a spirit of being timid. Strength has to lie in the ability to control oneself, within the freedom to say “no” to that which the world would have you say “yes.” It is in our abstaining and fasting and self-denial that we find freedom and liberation from the world, and from sin. Anyway.

It kept me up late, and I didn’t wake up in time to do my devotions in the morning. When I was done with work I went to Starbucks and spent an hour reading and reflecting on the Word. I realized that while people encourage you to read the Bible slowly and carefully, really concentrating on what is going in and savoring it all.. I read quickly. I miss some things, but then my journal is full of Scripture references or passages written down; things I know I want to think about but want to keep reading more before I stop and really let my brain go.

Occasionally, I can’t help but stop and think. I was reading the story of Samuel and God calling him at night. It’s all different when you’re reading it from the Bible and not looking at pictures on the wall that your Sunday School teacher cut out, right? So I’m reading about what God told him, about how Eli’s family will suffer punishment for his son’s actions and for Eli’s passiveness. and Eli makes Samuel tell him everything, to which Eli replies

“He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

In our devotions at night we’ve been reading through Romans. We were reading Romans 9 and trying to understand the idea of “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” {v18}

But when I read the words of Eli, I realized my peace with that verse will come with me giving up my desire to understand, because when it comes down to it, God acts in according to what “is good“. I say that with a bit of a chuckle because my understanding or ideas of “is good” is limited. Do I mean what “is good” in relationship to me, my personal situation? Or perhaps in response to what “is good” for me regarding the people I concern myself. Or, is it what “is good” for the body of Christ? Maybe it is what “is good” for all of humanity. Even, as much as this defies my ability to reason, it is what “is good” for all of creation, that which we can see and that which we cannot.

So to say that God will and does do what “is good” in his eyes is admittedly beyond my ability to fathom, as I do not know ultimately what “good” means, applies to, or implies. Many things that have been “good” have been painful. I would feel comfortable saying that the blood of Christ is good. But the response of the earth when he last breathed leads me to think that there was a heartbreak in Heaven, that God did not passively sit back and check a box on a “plan for salvation” and wait for the Resurrection. He was loud. The was confusion among the disciples, there was sorrow in the hearts of the women who loved him. There was disappointment in those who believed in him. The goodness of the cross did not spare anyone from pain. But the cross was very, very good. For me personally, for me communally, for the Body, for humanity and for all seen and unseen creation.



Then last night was a fancy dress-up dinner at our church. It was supposed to be us who rooted for the blackandyellowblackandyellowblackandyellowblackandyellow team at the Super Bowl to serve those who rooted for the winners. Instead it turned into one of the girls and her mom serving all of us a really nice, fancy dinner while we watched She’s the Man. Carrie tried to teach me how to eat like a princess, which was more of a fail than a success because I tend to talk with my mouth full and I use the sawing technique when cutting things like… well, everything.


Would you believe that on a Saturday morning with no alarm clock, my body wakes up at 6:30? It is a sleep-in of an hour of a half, but I have completely lost my ability to sleep late. I love it, because I’ve been sitting in this chair for about an hour and a half doing nothing but reading Wikipedia and now writing this. Next up on my list is getting dressed and going to Starbucks to read my Bible some more. There is something about fairly instant free icedcoffeewithmilkandcaramel refills that is just so appealing to me about Starbucks….

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Lent: Days 2 & 3.

  1. Your discussion about what is good was interesting. Jesus did a lot of good while He was here…healing, loving, forgiving. But the best good He did was painful to all of us…at first not seeming to be healing or loving or forgiving. It was horrible and it was cacophony. But yet it is our healing our love and our forgiveness. I don’t like pain for me or for those I love. It’s difficult to think of it as good. But you’re right…it can be.

  2. Pingback: Lent: Days 6-11. « just a little bit louder.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s