Yes, this shit is hard. Lent is not easy. It's not supposed to be easy. Christ had a sense that his time on earth was coming to a close. He could sense it. He lived knowing that shit could end any moment.
People's fear, greed, ignorance and power hunger got the better of them.
I've seen this kind of heightened desperation in my own life. I've had the experience of people wanting me to suffer more... Pay more. This has been my experience in failed love affairs, failed employment opportunities, failed friendships. When expectations run up against reality, someone is going to get hurt. and the someone who does get hurt will not suffer enough according to the other person who wants to see that kind of suffering.
"We all have our crosses to bear". I have heard this time and time again as a young person, but I had no real understanding or attachment or experience to what this meant. I do now in my 51 year old self. I have endured a great many crosses in my life. And truth be told I have lived the resurrection story... I have come back form the dead. I have stood in the grace of Good News! The story continues... crosses remain. The difference is, we can lay burdens down. Prayer is the great equalizer. Grace is undeserved and has no limit or boundaries. We must grow in our spiritual selves. Lent calls us to the silence... the contemplative time... time of discernment. Time to wrestle with the difficult.
I know what is difficult for me. I know what I long for deeply. This Season of Lent has been unsettling, and inopportune on so many levels. I know I must be deliberate in seeking the silence... In listening to God speaking. It is supposed to be hard. It is supposed to be challenging. The sweetness of grace awaits at the end of struggle and surrender. Grace comes fourth when I let go of my bullshit and allow God to GPS.
I am wrestling with Lent this year... I am glad that I can. I am glad that God is BIG BIG BIG and can wrestle with me too. If it were easy, there be no resurrection story... there be no good news. We would all be marginal... Living lesser stories and never experiencing the longing of more... More of God's attention....More of fuller lives of love and joy.
Lent opens up for me the opportunity to move the pain along. To endure...Contemplate...And forgive myself of the self imposed suffering.