Sisters in Scripture
Halfway through Lent    03/08/2016
A few days ago we celebrated Laetare Sunday from the Latin "rejoice," in the opening prayer of the Fourth Sunday of Lent--which means we are now half way through Lent.  So the burning question becomes, how full is the shoe box under your bed?

     When I was in grade school, chocolates and candies of all kinds were virtually forbidden, so common a penance were they.  Doing without chocolate was especially difficult but it was almost made up for by the sweet satisfaction of the sing-song reply, "Oh, no thank you.  I can't.  I gave that up for Lent."  Those words were just about as delicious as any Hershey's could ever be.  I loved the smiles and "good little girl" that they evoked.
     This was especially effective when done as a duet with my sister, Terry.  It never failed to impress.  Terry with her flaxen pigtails and me with my yellow curls--pretty darn cute.  I think Terry had a slight edge as she was probably more genuine in her reply.  She was generally just way more holy than I--exasperatingly so.  She did good deeds with ease and a cheerful smile.  I think it was just to annoy me. At any rate, we had a pact and that was the act.  Then one Lent she torpedoed the team.    Mrs. Reid, the nice lady across the street, offered us some candy.  I launched into our usual response but was cut short when Terry piped, up, "Sure.  Thanks!"  She ended up with a whole Mars bar.

     "But, Terry, it's Lent.  You can't have chocolate!"  

     "Just because I can't eat chocolate doesn't mean I can't have chocolate,"  she responded and led me to the shoe box under her bed wherein she was storing all the chocolate I had turned down.  NO FAIR!  This was as blatant a case of sneaky scheming as ever I had ever encountered.  The rest of Lent I fumed as I watched the stash grow in the shoe box under her bed.  

    "Measuring" Lent is dicey business, even if you're a grown-up.  It takes matters out of God's hands and into our own.  Still, the halfway point gives us pause.  It reminds us to stay the course, to re-up with our God of second chances.   

My own Lent has been blessed with the work of preparing for our Easter Retreat.  Prayer for those whom I know and for those I do not yet know underscores the days like a musical refrain.  I am grateful. 

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