Thursday, March 5, 2015


Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

You strengthen me more and more;
you enfold and comfort me.
Psalm 71:21

All at once I am done. I have stayed late in my office to finish several tasks. It has been a day of flying loose ends, and I want to gather them all up before I lose track of them altogether. But halfway through the umpteenth task, I know I can do no more. I save the document and shut down my computer closing application after application.

I have somewhere better to be. In a parish hall nearby, people are gathering. Teens and young adults and busy parents and middle aged and older folks are preparing a meal together. There will be freshly baked bread and conversation and contemplation and welcome. And it won’t matter to anyone that I arrive late.

I soon find myself sitting in a gentle circle invited into Sabbath reflection. And later around the tables, we enjoy an unhurried meal, graciously serving each another, passing tenderness and regard and mindfulness to one another along with the chickpea and cucumber salad.

I am grateful for the choice I made, and that such a choice was made available. In a world that does not want any of us to stop long enough to breathe, some have stepped aside to create this oasis where I feast on companionship and generosity, and where together we lift our voices in prayer to the One who embraces us all, strengthening us for the way ahead.