I’m feeling the length of Lent this year.
It seems to stretch into a nebulous ending, even with Holy Week in close view.
The drudgery of these past months, of this past year, have drudged up my own shades of beige that seem to color my world with seamless patterns of commonness and neutrality. Perhaps it’s all too much and my soul has gone into hibernation. The eye-lids of my inner self have shut out most of the color. Though I could easily blame the Pacific Northwest grey which by now has everyone looking for real estate in Arizona but it’s not just the grey or the COVID-19 or the political upheaval or the shootings, it’s all of it and none-of it. It’s the combination of and the separation from. Our souls were never meant to hold so much and yet they still do. And our collective weariness is evident.
Then Lent came again this year as it always does but this time, it caught me by surprise. Even so, I was glad to welcome a new season even unprepared as I was. I’ve even been faithful in my Lenten practices: limited my screen time, burned incense, lit candles, weekly walks at The Grotto. I have attempted to wake up my tired soul this season with activity and colors but I see now she simply needs the welcomed rest, she needs the mundane and the common. It’s hard to admit but I am tired. I don’t want to confess my weariness, fearful it might stick around longer if I admit it’s arrival. And honestly, I’ve busied myself this season trying remove the furniture from my soul to keep this inconvenient guest from becoming too comfortable! But I can confess now, I am tired. My soul is tired of an entire year of chaos, of sickness and distancing, of marches and voting and waiting. Yet even in my weary state, my soul longs for a way forward as much as she needs a comfy chair to rest. And this Lent, especially, she needs a simple path to walk on that leads to Calvary.
And though it is not an easy path nor a level one, a welcomed relief comes from the fact that it is the only one.
This is glad news for a weary soul who is burned out on making decisions and having them be cancelled or changed or altered. This one path remains the same year after year after year.
And it looms quietly before us this coming Sunday.
As Holy Week welcomes each and every soul to its path, my tired and tattered self needs a practice to guide her through the weeks rough terrain which leads to that holy hillside. She needs to wake up her body, use her hands, to move and to make, to see and to feel its anticipated arrival.
Calvary is there in the distance. The cross is far off but soon we will be able to feel the wood beneath our palms.
This realization alone makes my weary soul flutter her eye-lids open a bit to see the light of a new day, a new week, a promise of newness.
Even if it’s just a glimpse.
May it be enough for this weary soul to make the first step.
May it be enough for you as well.
Four Bowls, Greenery and A Crown of Thorns
Holy Week Printable Guide
I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I originally wrote the Stay Home Stay Holy guide when we were on total lock down because of the COVID-19. Now, as things begin to open up a bit more, we have the opportunity to connect and visit places like The Grotto for the Stations of the Cross. For this year, each day will remain as easy as if you were still at home: Collect a few items and follow along with the printable below.
I won’t be posting each blog this year during Holy Week. Instead, refer back here to read the corresponding blogs linked to each day below.
Let’s get started!
Collect Your Items
Palm Sunday – Palm branches or greenery from your yard.
Monday – Bowl of dried figs (or any dried fruit)
Tuesday – Bowl of pennies
Wednesday – Cup of dirt
Thursday – Bread and wine
Friday – Crown of thorns and bowl of toothpicks.
Saturday – Candles. Lots of candles!
Download Your Guide
I pray that this activity will breath life to your weary soul and make the walk to Calvary a life long journey that reaches far beyond this week. New life is right around the corner but first, we must put one foot in front of the other until we are at the foot of the cross.
You won’t be there alone. I will meet your there, my dear friend.