“He took a towel and tied it around his waist…and began to wash the disciples’ feet…”
My Lent has been quite a desert. Pretty much anything and everything I hoped to accomplish in March never happened. Instead, we all got sick, for over a week. And then we had just enough time to clean up the house and recover (though at least a few of us are still trying to kick the lingering cough) before we left on a spring break trip to see family. And before the sickness and the trip, I realized that in our homeschool,
some things were going to take longer than expected. My menu plan barely happened last month. I don’t even have a plan started for April. While I had planned to workout 3 or more times a week, I might have squeezed in some exercise 3 times total last month. I might have sat at the sewing machine 4 times. My photographs are so far behind in editing and organizing that I have nearly seriously considering ditching that hobby. My toddler’s sleep was improving, now we’re clawing our way out of a pit of sleep-death, in which he reverted to nursing and needing constant physical contact, by way of laying completely on top of me.
And here I am, on Holy Thursday, realizing that this Lent was so perfectly planned by our Father for me that it’s almost funny.
I’m not a type-A, but I do like to have a plan. I LOVE to craft, bake, and celebrate the seasons in nifty and exciting ways. Often that means decorating the mantle in a special way, having liturgically themed meals and activities, getting cards out to family on time…you get the idea.
NOTHING that I wanted to do happened. EVERYTHING was scrapped, and I found myself not even able to read a book like I wanted (and it was about the Last Supper!! I mean, come ON! How appropriate was my timing on choosing that one?!).
But you know what? This Lent, God gave me what I needed: a chance to die to myself and my plans, embrace Him in prayer and trust, and learn to serve without regretting what I was missing from my less-than-perfect plans.
I have had to take a towel and serve.
I bet Jesus had plenty of ideas which would have been amazing during his three years’ ministry. I bet he never groaned or whined when more people came to him and begged for his help and healing.
The Lent I’ve walked this year has started teaching me to stop grumbling when my plans are trumped by service, love, and ministry. These six weeks have been about denial, refocusing on the needs in front of me, being Jesus’ hands and feet to my family. It’s my domestic church. My little corner of the world where I am put to minister, to these specific people, day in and day out. And these six weeks have been like a boot-camp of weeding out distractions and selfish desires of things I’d rather do, and replacing them with the willing and joyful service of my family.
It’s been about taking a towel, wrapping it around my waist, and focusing on the present needs of my family, just as Jesus focused on the present needs of disciples. Did he plan to do that, from the beginning? I don’t know. I realize that Jesus being God, knows/knew all things, but part of me believes that even he, being human, had an idea of what he hoped to do, but being surrounded by humans who are unpredictable and needy, knew he’d have to meet their needs before he could do what he meant to do that day. But meeting the needs of the people is what he meant to do…and what he calls me to do in my family.
I’m going to be learning this for a long time. It’s taken me since 3a.m. to knock these rambling thoughts out, because needs come first. I sure would prefer to blog when I wake up, with a hot cup of tea or coffee sitting on my desk, with no interruptions…but interruptions are the call for me to live my vocation.
Speaking of those “interruptions”…one of them is giggling on my lap as he pushes the keyboard shelf back under the desk. Time to take up that towel again.
Have a blessed and holy Triduum, my friends. And see you again when we are Easter people and we can sing Alleluia.