We must — at some point along our Lenten journey — be candid about death. Lent begins with the reminder of our mortality, with the ashes from which we are knit together, and the season reaches its climax in the crucifixion of Jesus… Even Jesus, praying at Gethsemane before his death, asked his friends to keep him company. “Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here and stay awake with me.'” (Matthew 26:8, NRSV)
Lord, tonight as I stood at my kitchen window washing dishes I thought of my mom and dad.
I’m excited to be traveling with them soon and I can’t wait to see the joy as they hold their newest grandson in their arms.
But to say I don’t worry about them would be… well, untrue.
It surprises me that I feel old somedays.
I know things change and life moves and sometimes it just moves way too fast.
And a scary realization is that if I’m getting older… if I’m an “adult”… then my parents are getting older, too. (sorry, mom.)
Between Brandon and me, we’ve had lots of conversations and what-ifs about our parents lately.
Help me to slow down, God.
Help me to take a deep breath.
Help me to not take so much for granted.
In Your last nights, You asked your friends to stay by your side.
The ones who had traveled with you.
The ones who knew you so well.
All you wanted was time. company. love. relationship.
Why is it so hard for us to make time for those things in our daily lives?
We know we want them. We know how important they truly are to us.
But the phone call isn’t made.
We fill our schedules instead of our hearts.
How on earth has it been this long since I talked with my dad?
We hurry and work and sweat and stress… and for what?
What if we lived as if we were dying?
That’s a silly cliche, I know.
And to be honest, God, if we moved beyond the trite statement and really took your words seriously…
well, I fear that if I truly died to my self and lived for you that everything would be different… and that’s scary.
You ask us to die… and you ask us to love… but what if we love so much that we don’t want to die?
What if we love people and don’t want them to go?
What if we don’t want things to change…. or if we want them to change in ways that might require less time for the work of ministry so that we can spend more time with family and the very companions you have brought into our beautiful messed up lives?
Help me to understand how to love… and live… and what it might really mean to die.