CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©
Well, here it is, and once again, I’m not ready. Yes, St. Patrick’s Day, and I did not write anything specifically for the day. Other folks plan ahead. They know that 2016 is the 300th anniversary of the first line dance, and so one of them has already written a novel, The Salsa Murders, and another an historical monograph, Line Dances Through the Ages, and someone else has posted a photo montage on Facebook, not to mention the several Facebook quizzes, such as “Which Famous Line Dancer Best Expresses Your Inner Salsa?”
And here I am, St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m barely able to remember to wear green so that I don’t get pinched if I go out in public, which, admittedly, isn’t so bad when people are trying to pinch you through long underwear, a flannel shirt, a wool sweater, and a parka.
We are in Lent right now. I didn’t realize it until I saw all those people with dirty foreheads. When I did, I groaned. Didn’t we do that last year?
I hate the church seasons, not because of their meaning, but because preachers think that a season calls for a series of sermons. They have to find a theme, like “Journey to the Tourney,” although sort of more religious, like “Journey to Golgotha,” and every week they torture the Scripture into a variation of it. “The First Step. The Second Step. The…” well, you get the idea. Or, “People on the Journey,” or “Stumbling Stones on the Journey…”
Mea culpa. I used to be the worst. I could think up really clever series names. Then, of course, I had to make life fit the series.
Well, life doesn’t fit a series, or a special day. While some folks are getting pinched today, others are mourning the loss of a loved one, others are trying to get sober, some are going to jail. It doesn’t matter which saint’s day it is, or what season it is, or how many round-numbered years it’s been since the last time. All they want is a chance at some comfort and safety and hope.
I suspect that God doesn’t even know it’s Lent. God doesn’t care about your ashes in the form of a cross. God just wants to wash off your dirt, regardless of how or when it got on your face.
John Robert McFarland
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]
I tweet as yooper1721.