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Lent Day 19

March 11, 2015

This local blogger in my area appears weekly in our newspaper. Her thoughtful pieces always resonate with me. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at my church in a grief discussion series. She was as lovely and compassionate in person as she always seems to me in her blogs.

She speaks openly about the slow decline of her beloved “daddy.” She is living the heartache many of us go through when a friend or loved one has a terminal illness. We may pray for them not to go and at the same time we cannot bear to see them in pain and absent from us while still among us.

In my prayer blog on Sunday, I asked God to help me with patience. Rev. McKibben speaks to that as well.

“I think of the children’s story by Shel Silverstein titled “The Giving Tree.” The boy is entirely too busy for the tree who gives its all, until the boy gets old and frail. By then the tree is only a stump. But, the tree says, “An old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.” And the boy does and the tree is happy. Maybe my daddy is saying to me, come and sit. Maybe that is the one thing I can do for my daddy now. And maybe that is the gift my daddy is giving me; the wise counsel to slow down and rest. Daddy is giving to me still and through the sadness, I am still looking up to him with great love.”

I think we can all find lessons in every life experience we have. Some are easy and fun lesson. Others, like hers, come in a big box of pain and sadness. We don’t want them. We want to get away from the situation, skip the experience and its lesson. But we can’t, can we? Not really, if we want to grow.

Isn’t it better for us to slow down and embrace the lesson – and the experience?

Lent brings its own lessons for each of us, starting with the lesson to slow down to reflect. Lent is the reminder that God loves us and freely gives us eternal life. Individually, God knows what we each need. He can and will provide it. We must slow down enough and pay enough attention to identify and receive the lesson.

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