Our Penitence and Our Mortality

I went to Ash Wednesday mass last week. I still don’t know what I feel about the good Lord. I don’t believe what I did. I still like going – I’ve been going to this service for most of my life. It’s quiet, grounding. It reminds me to self-reflect, to be humble and to be contrite. Among other things, this is the point of lent – to focus us on brokenness – within ourselves, within our communities, within the world. Possibly creation groans all the time, but the liturgy asks us to stop and abide with that groaning for 40 days. We are asked to be still and watch and listen. We will be broken anew even as we are made whole in other ways.

The sermon this year was particularly interesting. Instead of focusing on the falling short, the Rector focused on why we help and why we don’t let others help. I’m pretty good at knowing why I help others and I call myself out when my motives are not fantastic.

Letting others help me.


oh. umm.

I’m maybe not good at this.

I’m typing this from a new infusion clinic. Over the next 5 days they will pump $65,000 worth of drugs into me. I feel. . .

Look, I’ll just be blunt. I feel like absolute shit. My head is pounding, every single muscle in my body hurts. There are no words to describe how awful my mouth tastes. I’m running a nasty fever. I’m moving like a 90-year-old.  I’d say I have to barf, but I’m not sure I could muster the energy.

Ms. Fab flew out yesterday to take care of me. I confess, I thought the clinic was fussing at me. I’m pretty independent. My biggest worry was going to be keeping myself busy. I had my textbooks for next semester, a crochet project, some work stuff. I thought I’d manage pretty well.

I’m not going to be independent this week. I’m barely going to make it through. I’m going to need every spare ounce of help.

I felt uncomfortable during the sermon. The rector said it’s can be sinful to reject offers of help because we are rejecting love. We are hindering others from loving us. We are so caught up in our strength and virtue we don’t think we need help. The danger in that is that we become immune to needs, we become arrogant in our independence.

Apparently, this won’t be an issue for me this week.

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3 Responses to Our Penitence and Our Mortality

  1. Chris says:

    I really relate to this a little too much. I have a chronic nerve (pain) disorder and seem to deal with it a lot like you do. You’re once again making me rethink

    Good luck this week. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts

  2. Debby Hornburg says:

    This was a hard one for me, mostly because I come from a family where help was not forthcoming a great deal of the time. Asking for help was considered shameful. I didn’t shame myself often. Cancer gave me an opportunity to slow down and to allow myself to be ministered to. It was a humbling time, yes, but it also made me aware of being surrounded by love.

  3. loribeth says:

    I’m getting better at asking for help, the older I get. It’s still hard to do, though. You have been helpful to so many others for so long; I do hope others are responding in kind. (((hugs)))

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