Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places
and are acquainted with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-2
“So, are you really going to use it for your Lenten devotions?”
My daughter is referring to the second half of the Christmas present she and her sister gave me.
The first half was a blank journal. This was a wise and thoughtful gift on their part, because I write most mornings and am always looking for a new journal. They were particularly pleased with their choice; I remember the day in December when we were shopping and they went off on their ‘secret’ errand, meeting up with me later with barely concealed delight as they proclaimed they had found the perfect gift. It turns out that what makes this particular journal perfect are the words, “Keep Calm and Carry On” printed on the front of it.
But the second half of the gift is the clincher: a companion volume entitled, “Now Panic and Freak Out.” This volume is not blank but contains witty and wicked aphorisms like, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” (Attributed to Douglas Adams)
My daughters know me so well.
It was with a sense of irony that I suggested I might use the Now Panic volume for my own daily reading during Lent. One of the joys of sharing daily living with others is being known. Children and spouses and partners can see into each other’s lives with x-ray vision. This can be cause for great upset and great insight. And it can be a catalyst for self-definition.
There are moments when those nearest to me know me with such love that I see the image of God in them. And in seeing, recall God, who sees all my ways and loves me nonetheless. The perfect gift.
copyright © Anne E. Kitch 2013