When my husband and I were first married, I lovingly (and mistakenly) began the practice of bringing him coffee in bed each and every morning. It was a simple task, a small thing, but it meant a lot to him. It was easy. I smile now at the thought of how things…how life can begin simply enough and, over time, become more complicated. In those early days, when we were young and attractive, and love was new and easy, it was coffee, black – simple.
Over time, things change, we change – slowly, sometimes imperceptibly. Then you wake up one morning and a simple
task you could once do in your sleep – coffee, black, becomes tea – carefully measured, steeped just so long, with this much sugar and a dash of milk. Life gets complicated. Do I ever complain? Sometimes. Would I stop performing this task? Never. Despite the changes over time, it is still done for the same reason – love. Sometimes I bring my husband’s tea, wake him gently, have a brief conversation, and then I go off for a run. It’s all good. But if I return an hour later and the tea is untouched, my husband is back in dreamland and he intends to travel with me to Owen Sound…well, that’s a different scenario entirely.
The beautiful thing about Lent is how it calls us to deeper prayer, alms-giving, with greater attention to others’ needs over our own; and a call to fast, to abstain. We set out on our Lenten journey with the best of intentions but sometimes life gets in the way and we are thrown off track. Our Lenten practices need not be complicated. We can begin in our very own homes, performing simple tasks with greater love and care; fasting from angry words and quick tempered reactions. Little things like these spill over into our daily lives and beyond our homes. Sometimes we place heavy burdens on ourselves that we cannot keep up and rather than simplify the course of our Lenten journey – we give up. Never give up. Keep it simple. I’ve said it before, Jesus – Others – You. The proper perspective will bring you JOY through Lent. Margery Frisch