Father Timothy said he will interested in my thoughts about Lent. The saturation and poetry of the scripture readings went straight to my soul where they steeped in the deep waters of my being. I had never experienced Easter in that way before. It was a journey with Christ from Lazarus to the Resurrection in Holy Week. I loved it!
An act of love I will also never forget was that of Nadine sharing her umbrella with me, holding it more over my head than hers so that she got rained on and I did not. I felt so bad, but she insisted. I was unworthy of such an act and so receiving that gift was extremely difficult.
The fast itself was difficult at times as well. Part of it was that I still have yet to grasp the significance of it. I am willing to learn.
My favorite part of Holy Week was the Friday service where the Lamentations were read. You know that author who actually puts into words the thoughts in your mind? This is Lamentations for me. It is full of the echos of my soul. I absolutely loved it! It included Lamentations in the Bible but also had the journey of Christ to the Cross, to Hades to the Resurrection in beautiful language.
There was something special about the Lazarus story that struck my soul. Jesus called to Lazarus after he was in the grave for 4 days. Lazarus was indeed dead. No doubt about it. When they removed the stone, the smell of rotting flesh must have escaped the tomb. There were people standing outside the tomb, as the icon depicts, with their hands over their nose, not in wonder, but because of the smell. That is reality.
But what strikes me is that Lazarus had nothing to do with Jesus calling His name. He did not ask for that to happen. He was helpless to respond. He was dead. He did not want to respond, but neither could he refuse to respond. He was dead.
The same principle is shown in the story about the 4 friends who let down their sick friend through the roof to the room where Jesus was. The story says nothing about the sick man’s desires, condition or status. It says nothing about his morals or his righteousness. What it does talk about is the concern and action of his 4 friends.
There is hope, therefore, for the one who has strayed from following Jesus, and cannot even see that they are dead in their sins. They may be blind in the darkness in which they are walking and may not even have a desire to change. Worse, they may have deceived themselves and really believe that God would have them happy in the lifestyle they have chosen.
The hope is that the prayers and faith of the ones who love them may be effectual and may avail much. God may have mercy, give sight to the blind and cause their spiritual awakening and salvation. This is the hope for every parent who grieves over a lost child. The hope for every lost or wayward soul who is loved by one who knows God.