I've been like a piece of meat marinating in quality olive oil the past few months. Quietly, I've been soaking in solitude. My re-entry into public civilization has been slow. I have no idea if you've been wondering about me since the delivery of my Lenten reflections found its way to and down the garbage disposal. Or, in other words, my Lenten pilgrimage completely dried up and dissolved into the hot sand of the spiritual desert. This, in fact, might be a good thing and had its purpose. The last thing I want to do is fill a space and someone's inbox with stale, fat-induced words that have no heart in them, letters jumbled together that have no flavor to freshen the spirit of the air. The spirit of you. The spirit of me. The spirit of the world that surrounds us.
Instead of answers and a feeling that I did it right, Lent presented and left me with many questions. Perhaps it was an excellent Lent because I kept adjusting and concluded that my spiritual journey was being refined with the hope that it would be revitalized. Which makes me think of the past several months of this pandemic. What if this time too has been excellent? Because it has been an opportunity to refine, declutter, and rearrange all that is not serving, life-giving, and of love?
I discovered Psalm 66 early on in the pandemic, and I adopted it as my pandemic mantra. I continue to keep it now.
For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver …
we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.
On the other side of the fire-death and hate and strained relationships-there has been the baptism of living. With less. Less drama. Less busyness. Less untruth. Less hate. Less shame. Less stuff. Less of anything that weighs me down with a smokey film like a tarnished silver tray. I wonder. What if humanity needed some polishing, but we were so busy doing, accumulating, taking sides, and hurting one another that we couldn't see it? What if this polishing, rubbed with love and a soft plush cloth, was meant to clear our eyes and soften our hearts? So that we can see and feel the good and beautiful in the world more easily. So that it can pierce through our own experience of darkness, whatever it may be. So that we choose to be the light. Which will delight others and light up the world like an abundance of radiant stars in a summer night's sky.