We are halfway through March and I am glad. It’s not that I want to wish my life away, but March is not a month that I am particularly fond of. I dislike the teasing of spring-like days and the reality that it is still winter and sometimes even snows in March. I have experienced numerous losses in March through the years and, well, a pastor should probably not put this in print, but I am not all that fond of Lent either. Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to a season of deeper reflection with a more intentional focus on my need for repentance and God’s forgiveness, no that’s not it. Perhaps it’s that preparation for the other things in Lent feels like added pressure and I end up feeling inadequate.
I often turn to favorite books or at least favorite authors during Lent some of which are helpful for reflection. A favorite at times is Macrina Wiederkehr who for me is a sort of modern day Julian of Norwich. In one of her books, Seasons Of Your Heart: Prayers and Reflections, she writes about the Beatitudes. She says that the beatitudes are for people who have their hearts set on the reign of God. She writes: “They are a way of life designed for those who want their lives to be a blessing. Beatitude people are kingdom-people. They have a kingdom on their minds that won’t let them rest until all the world is striving to be just, compassionate, and single-hearted. They call us forth from the cozy ruts of daily living and urge us to be Christ in the world.”
Under the heading “Blessed Are You Who Mourn, Consolations Shall Be Yours” she includes these words:
Blessed are you if you are so full of compassion
you see the need before it is spoken.
Blessed are you if you can offer to others
a heart that feels their sorrow
a heart that can wait quietly beside them
a heart that doesn’t try to hurry the healing.
I pray I offer that at times to others, because I have been the recipient of such a gift.
Making my way through my own March Madness,
The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church