Lent. Growing up, I never paid it much attention. (Though I DO remember one of my eighth-grade classmates gave up haircuts for Lent. We laughed. But, by the end of Lent his hair was SO long, most girls would’ve been envious!) Over the last few year, Lent has been difficult while at the same time beautiful. It makes me think of all the daffodils and tulips attempting to burst forth from the dark soil, sometimes covered in dank leaves, in order to show forth their beautiful blooms. What a great metaphor for what can happen in our lives if we invite God in to help with the “mud” in order to bring forth something beautiful.
For the second year in a row, Lent has also meant a change in the journey for one of my classmates. It’s difficult to see one of my peers go. To have shared this much time together and then to have our paths diverted takes a bit of getting used to. But, as I’ve been reminded countless times, discernment continues until ordination day. God continues to let me know of that the call is very real and continues to prepare me for whatever lay ahead. It’s exciting and scary, all at the same time. For as “muddy” as the landscape appears, the Spirit breathes in life and God continues to provide food for my soul.
This Lent that “food” has been in the form of paint. I have had the amazing opportunity to be part of a six-week icon writing class. St. George and the Dragon are my weekly companions. I signed up, in part, because of the proposed class at Grace and wished to be sharing your experience. However, it turns out that I’m sharing the experience in a different way. Over the weeks, many have checked in on my progress via my Facebook posts. I’ve even gotten emails from parishioners sharing their experiences of St George. Some emails have even included discussions of the differences between St Michael’s dragon image and that of St George’s. (Thank you, Ed & Mary Clabots!) It always brings me great joy, in the midst of tons of school work, to hear from members of my Grace family!! Food for the soul.
Which brings me to a slightly different food story. Recently, for part of my field work at Georgetown University, we planned to make our communion bread for Eucharist. Since we were using one of the local parish kitchens anyway, we decided to make dinner with our students prior to our service. During the meal, we discovered that, reminiscent of the call for Grace’s Guild for Mary & Martha, the college students expressed their lack of cooking skills and a desire to learn. Feeding the soul can begin in so many ways, including with nourishing the body. I’m excited to see how God plans to use this in my work with college students to bring others to be nourished with God’s love.
As I look ahead, there are a lot of unknowns. However, I remember that God is good…all the time! Where it is scary, I trust and pray and listen and work/walk and trust. It’s a never-ending cycle for all Christians. One that includes a loving God who enjoys being part of each of our individual journeys. Soon, I will be headed on a physical journey, also. I’ll be joining those from Diocese of Fond du Lac and Diocese of Washington on pilgrimage to Greece in the footsteps of Paul, including a trip to the island of Patmos. From there, I’ll visit a classmate in Jordan who will take me to Petra. After that, God hasn’t quite filled in the details. There are two potential missions that I could spend a month with but there is some political uncertainty that doesn’t allow me to fully plan until much closer to the time of my departure. What I do know is that I have a return ticket to the US from Amsterdam on July 12th. What happens between June 15-July 12th, God only knows…and that’s okay with me…scary, but okay. Stay tuned.
By His Love,