Just when we thought it was safe to venture back outside…Yep! You guessed it! More ‘wintry mix’ today. The upside? It kept my beloved home with me. That is ALWAYS good. So, we’ve been vegging out and watching some TV. Productive aren’t we?
Also on the upside, it provides some more valuable time to immerse oneself in Lent. If you read yesterday’s blog, Winter Words, you’ll remember that this is only my second foray into the liturgical calendar and the practice of Lent.
People often think of Lent as a time of giving up something. It should also be a time of introspection and reflection, a time to look, first within oneself, and then to take that time of self-examination and turn it into using our unique gifts to love our neighbor as ourself.
Lent should also be a time to look outward and see the world as it is. It is a place where millions of our brothers and sisters are mourning and suffering.
Buddhist scripture puts it this way, “Now this bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering…”
It’s easy for me, today, to sit on my couch, stuff my face and insulate myself to the pain that exists all around me. And it’s not just the nameless and faceless that are suffering. My next door neighbors are suffering as are the people in my subdivision, my community, my church and all throughout my world, our world.
We are all interconnected. When one person suffers, we all do. And it makes no difference what race, creed, color or religion a person is identified with. We categorize, classify and stereotype everyone. And then we use those categories, classifications and stereotypes to to accentuate our differences, whereas we should be looking to highlight our similarities.
The great majority of us consider ourselves Christian, therefore we should see the world through the eyes of Christ and his teachings. The world should be viewed through that lens. He taught us how to live and, most importantly, he SHOWED us how to live. He talked the talk but, primarily, HE WALKED THE WALK. He was a living example of how to respond to any given situation in a redemptive manner.
Christian scripture says this, “… For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me…I tell you the truth, when you did it to ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
We are all familiar with these admonitions and we take them to heart, but giving them legs is the issue. The opportunities to do so are abundant. It is up to us, collectively and individually, to open our spiritual eyes and identify who our suffering neighbors are and make every effort to assist in alleviating their suffering.
So, as ‘Old Man Winter’ keeps pounding away, stay warm, look within, and try to help make sure that others do also.
We can’t save the world but we can make a difference.
Hey folks! I didn’t mean to go completely in that direction today but that is what happened when the fingers hit the keys. God bless!!!
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on…” Omar Khayyam