Ash Wednesday – From Joel 2:
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
I think this is one those passages in Scripture that speaks to my heart in a way that well, has me examining my words and actions. Am I being kind? Am I listening? Am I hearing? Is what I’m hearing tempering my heart? If it’s not tempering my heart why not?
Rending the heart means that I’m willing to acknowledge that I have not done something well and more importantly I’m willing to learn from it, change and grow. Or to look at this slightly differently let God’s love and mercy and grace fill those places that are rent, smooth over the rough edges and allow me to be much more compassionate. Or at least open to being much more compassionate.
Tomorrow Catholics (and other Christians) will wear a temporary outward sign of a desire for an inward change. The outward sign is temporary and truthfully the desire is on-going. The more we give over to this Loving God the more we are loving and caring.
Lent is that time in the desert, the Holy Place where God dwells where there is nothing to hide behind. Where our Original Nakedness becomes, once again, something beautiful. Where our “faults and failings” become something to draw us closer to God and people rather than wedges in the relationship.
One of my friends likened an examination to cleaning out the refrigerator: it’s kinda gross but it’s something that needs to be done. *not a direct quote*
One of the things that I have publicly given up during Lent is making uncharitable comments while I’m driving and taking it one step further I pray for peace for them and for me. I realized, perhaps the 2nd year I did this that I am judging the driver in a most unkind way. Not fair. I don’t know if they’re late or stressed or worried or, or, or. And Yes I give this up every year because one year I hope that this practice leads to a permanent, on going, life giving change. The longer I practice this I develop the spiritual muscle memory, making it less and less hard each time I practice this.
Lent and quilting have a lot in common: it’s all about the practice. The more we practice the better we get at it. The better we get at it the more we realize that both Lent and quilting are about on-going practice. That the joy of a Lent well lived leads to the Cross and the Cross leads to the Resurrection. The more we practice quilting, the better we get, the better we get the more confident we get, the more confident we get the more likely we are to accept that “a seam ripper is a quilters best friend”, getting us ready for that next quilt – you know the one that leads us to Houston (if that’s where we’re intended to go).
For most quilters getting to Houston and winning one of the big ribbons is not a goal and truthfully it’s not for everyone so let go and enjoy what you do.
I’m off to work and to think more about what I want to do for Lent and quilts. I’m going to think of quilts that need to get done.
Happy Quilting and God bless!