Good Day, God!
I appreciate Lent, God. Lent is a special time of year in the Christian calendar — designed to help us better appreciate the sufferings of Christ — in the 40+ days leading up to Good Friday.
Traditionally, people have done some serious fasting during Lent. This has morphed into things like giving up chocolate or ice cream. And, although, I was the one raised an Episcopalian, God, it is my wonderful husband Kit — the Congregationalist — who has embraced Lent.
I think this is because to Kit Giving Up Things is a GAME! He is blessed with enormous DISCIPLINE. I am sitting here smiling, God. I am more like our oldest daughter who used to tell me how much she disliked the word Discipline.
As You know, God, in years past Kit would decide that WE would give up caffeine, alcohol, red meat, sugar-containing desserts, etc. I, although NOT disciplined, would chug along behind him — more or less faithfully giving up whatever.
This year Kit was visiting our daughters on the Mainland when Lent began and I encouraged him to wait until he returned home to Begin Lent. When he returned we began what turned out to be Lent Light! Instead of giving up coffee, we have switched to decaf. And Kit has switched from regular beer to non-alcoholic beer. This is not “suffering,” God!
But then I wonder if voluntary suffering has ever been something that pleased You? I can understand bearing up as well as can be under involuntary suffering. And I can understand making sacrifices to help others. But, voluntary suffering seems odd to me. I think it was Thomas a Becket who wore hair-shirts . . . not uncommon back in the days when voluntary suffering was admired. Hair-shirts to de-caf coffee. Hmm.