Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday After Ash Wednesday

Isaiah 58: 1-9a, Psalm 51, Matthew 9: 14-15

Lent is a somber time for remembering and reflection. Quite the opposite is true of birthdays. This day in Lent marks the birthday of my sister who died twenty years ago. For me the happiness of remembering her and the somberness of recalling her illness and death comingle on this day.

Though we lived in different states during her 18-month struggle with cancer, we had the privilege of weekly time together. For many months it seemed like no illness at all. Our visits were occasions for remembering and reflection punctuated by joyous laughter much more often than the distress of bad side effects. Eventually our conversations became ever more focused on what was most important in each of our lives. Hers was a straightforward faith. It was she who etched in my memory the Micah 6: 6 answer to the question about the Lord’s requirements of us. It had served her well. “And what does the Lord require of you? Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.”

It’s now twenty years later and I continue to seek, to love, and to walk humbly with God on this earth. In the passages for this day, I find important guidance for this process. I find the action-oriented exhortations in Psalm 51 energizing. Rouse yourself! Awaken! Listen! Hearken! Hear! Put on Strength!

I am ever grateful that I listened and heard my sister. I pray for strength to continue to walk humbly with my God and to listen with care to the new insights waiting for me this Lenten season of reflecting and remembering.

Doris S. Greiner

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