“But Lent”

Photo credit: Diana Carroll

March 3, 2021

This blog, offered in the transitional time between winter and spring, as the earth reawakens, as we continue rising from ashes to hope (an ongoing journey), as many religious traditions invite us to a time of introspection, honesty, and repentance, is, I pray each time I post, a place of respite where words of gentleness and compassion are shared, not just for ourselves but for the world.  I pray this blog always proclaims that we are loved by the Divine Lover, and that we were created to be loved and to return love.  I believe that looking within and seeking the Divine Being, whatever our religious traditions or absence of them name It, is not about “belly-gazing” for our personal comfort but will lead us to influence our surroundings and environments with gentleness and compassion in a world that needs now, more than ever, to be loved.   Striving for perfection, accepting the false gods that tell us it is what we do or accomplish or achieve that defines us, being taught that we had to do more to be more are not the ways of Love.  We begin turning away from those old stories and turning toward Love when we say “yes” to the invitation to embrace our “enoughness.”

A couple of days ago, with all of the above on my heart, I was gifted with a poem that I would like to share with you as gift.  It captures all that I have tried to say in the past few blogs.  The poet and pastor, Rev. Diana Carroll, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, MD, granted me permission to include it here, along with her photo, for which I am most grateful.  We both invite you to take the words into your heart and to hear Love speak through them.

Yes, we know our own areas of challenge; we’d be dishonest if we did not own them.  But we are so much more than our challenges.  We hold within our deepest selves the image, the breath, of the One Who Created Us, the One who desires we simply sit still long enough to allow Love to embrace us, to breathe us as we breathe Love.   Blessings to you ~ Rosemary

“But Lent”

I would love to become
the kind of person
who makes sure the dishes
are done
every night
so she can wake up
in the morning
to the peaceful welcome
of a clean kitchen.
I would love to become
the kind of person
who replies to every email
the same day it arrives
and keeps a neat,
nearly empty
inbox.
I would love to become
the kind of person
who never picks
at her cuticles
or bites
at her lips
or chews
at the insides
of her cheeks
until the dentist
gives her a lecture about it.
But Lent
is not for trying
to become someone
I am not.
It is for honoring
the person
I already am.
My wholeness.
My integrity.
My belovedness.
And so,
in this holy season,
I will not strive
for self-improvement.
I will not seek
to create new habits
or to break
the old ones.
I will not squeeze myself
into impossible expectations
guaranteed to leave me angry
and disappointed
when I fail.
Instead,
I will do nothing
but breathe,
receiving the quiet gift
of every inhale
and every exhale,
receiving it even
when I am too busy
or distracted
to notice.
Somehow,
God is present
in the breath,
in the breathing.
And from time to time,
if I simply
stop
trying,
I may be given
the grace
of knowing it.

© Diana Carroll

Published by rosemarymcmahan

Poet, writer, minister, traveler on the way

One thought on ““But Lent”

  1. Thank you, Diana! Thank you, Rosemary! One-third of the way into Lent and slowly, oh so slowly beginning to experience moments of stillness, a breath awareness, and a gentle self-hug of my own heart! This blog has been my respite and your poem today, Diana, a real gift. Blessings to you both.🙏❤️ Chris

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