Notes from Jan

Holy Slow

February 11, 2016

Yesterday, the Lenten Ladies started up again.  We’d chosen to read and discuss during Lent, Joan Chittister’s The Way of the Cross.  This practice, like Advent, helps us pause, reflect and learn. It’s the gift of Slow. Holy Slow.

Judy led and handed out Old and New Testament readings, giving Biblical context for the reflections we’d be reading on the Stations of the Cross.  We took turns, reading aloud from the New Living Translation. There’s something to be gained from both hearing and seeing words that truly matter, like these from Isaiah 53:3.

He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief.  We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by.  He was despised, and we did not care.”

It was the we that got to me, reminding me of Dr. Malcolm Reid’s chapel message at Gordon on Sloth. Sloth, not as laziness but as care-less-ness.  The deadly sin of: I don’t care or I could care less. Makes me want to hide all mirrors.

Slow comes naturally as I age, but deliberate choices to slow down to reflect and learn come super-naturally.  On this Ash Wednesday, I pray for discernment during this Lenten season,  to search and destroy that which feeds carelessness in me and a lack of attentiveness to what matters to God. I have profound weakness in more than my right arm.  

Yesterday’s reading focused on the First Station of the Cross: Jesus Is Condemned to Death. The author asked,”What is it in life for which we are willing to be condemned?” Joan  Chittister concluded with,”…when we are condemned for the right reasons, the first station reminds us, we know we will not be there alone.  Jesus will be standing beside us, full of pain for our sake, but head up and unyielding.

As an old gospel song says,”No one ever cared for me like Jesus.”

Tonight,  ashes mark the sign of the cross on my forehead, a symbol of the high cost of Christ’s caring heart and of my ongoing need to repent for the times I could care less.








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  • Reply Dale Lefever February 12, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Thanks, as always. I think a “dirty” head is the sign of a healthy heart. So, if we are to be persecuted, let it be for righteousness sake. Amen.



  • Reply Wendy Lane February 16, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    My inbox gets so full I sometime miss these until later on. The timing is usually perfect when I read them though. I think it is so very cool that you meet with others and talk about “lenten” things like you shared. Such good thoughts. I’ve been doing a lenten devo from Tim Keller’s church and trying to reflect more, much more, on all Jesus did for me leading up to, and on, the cross. Whew. I am going to also “pray for discernment during this Lenten season, to search and destroy that which feeds carelessness in me and a lack of attentiveness to what matters to God.” as you shared. Shall we pray for each other too?! love you!

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