BY CARL SANDBURG
That first week of Lent, I was sweet as a lamb. You would have loved me, and my fountain of patience, my heaven colored glasses. Today I'm remembering wistfully that much more pleasant version of my now wolfish, irritated, less than lovable self. Oh good grief, can I not hang on to anything?
It's usually just at that moment I'm pretty sure I've overcome the bulk of my nasties I'm caught off guard by a karate chop to my most vulnerable parts (my thoughts, always my thoughts). Just three nights ago, I was jolted awake by "what-ifs" so violent they left my head ringing, and apparently my nerves frayed because I've taken to growling (grrrrr!) and snapping when what I should be, for everyone's sake, is silent.
Last Saturday, we sang during vespers, "allow me to pass over the battlefield of Lent without sin." Yes, that was telling – a bit of foreshadowing perhaps to prepare me for what was to come? Well, lookie here, despair, I may be wounded but I'm still fighting! And you know what I'm gonna do with your big old neon taunts about my weakness, foolishness, general unworthiness? I'm going to claim them.
Who needs the Cross? I do. Who needs Mercy? I sure as hell do. Who is just as susceptible to screwing up, falling flat on her face, forgetting her promises Apostle Peter style, as anyone else in this world? Me? Did you answer "me"? Well, you got it!
And here is where doubt and despondency cannot contain us: precisely because of my flaws, I come to you open handed - defying pride, logic, self-confidence. Who am I to close my fist in judgement? To shake it in your face while you duck to avoid the redwood protruding from my eyeball?
Up ahead is our Resurrection! I extend my asking, waiting, hand to you. Will you walk with me?