Talking Back: Celebration

God in the Yard

Lent begins today.

I wasn't going to do anything about that.

Then I read Andrea's first post on God in the Yard. I love that she has resolved to play, even as part of the religious world descends into a form of mourning and purposeful deprivation.

I also read the next chapter I was supposed to read along this journey... chapter 4, Weep: Celebration.

And suddenly I knew I would create my own Lenten celebration. It would be a form of play, though it would also recognize a sense of sorrow. It would include collecting Nelson's elements of celebration recounted in God in the Yard: sound, gestures, natural elements, handmade items, and food.

I am not sure how I will gather my elements over 40 days, what I will make of them. Maybe nothing. Today I took this little stone, so opaque, so dead in its way, and put it in a crystal bowl. Like the "bottle" in which the Psalmist says God collects our tears, the bowl is cupping the stone.

For some, Lent is a giving up. For me, it is going to be a giving over... of sorrows, confusions, doubts, disappointments. To the degree that I can, I will put them in the crystal bowl. A kind of Lenten prayer.

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Blogger Cassandra Frear said...

It is good for each of us to respond to God where we are. Beautiful stories are told of his grace and provision when we do.

I collect rocks in places where I've been, too. And they usually have a special meaning for me.

Blogger Joy said...

It's the first year in a very long while that I have intentioned to observe Lent much more purposefully, and then was surprised at what I was hearing God telling me about that observance- not one of depravation, like I have done in many years past, but one of intentional focus. I love both yours and Andrea's ideas...

He never fails to delight and surprise in the Journey when I open my eyes to possibility.

Blogger Maureen said...

That dispelling of the negative is liberating, makes space for what matters more. . . and most.

Lenten Practice

Take 40 days:

Collect winter's soughs
and spin of them songs
for spring's awakening.

Count how often
your eyes mime the joy
your hands embrace

and the number of steps
your feet rise to a beat
only you can hear.

Shoot the light
caught on the lip
of the daffodil.

Repeat the novena
laced into patterns
edging the cottons

you lay upon table
in preparation for
the elemental:

and water
and wine.

Blogger Cassandra Frear said...

Sent you an email, too. :-)

Blogger ELK said...

rocks say so much to me ~

Blogger Nancy said...

Oh! I like this a lot! Just started reading your book and am excited about the idea of playing toward God. I carry a lot of legalistic baggage about spiritual practices, always wanting to be sure I'm doing things right toward God. Right now, I'm hung up on finding a place to sit outside and wondering, "What do I do when it rains?"

Did I mention I'm just the tiniest bit of a legalist? Sigh. I've got a long way to go...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My lenten celebration is to live joyfully.This is not natural but must be intentional as my bent to depression has been strong these past few months. Honoring God in recognizing that He loves me and am intentionally living that out each day.Thank you for your encouraging words- just that word play- blessed me. Thank you, Dee

Blogger David Rupert said...

Giving over instead of giving up.

That's a wonderful, new approach that should promote healing.

There is a something to be said about self denial, but giving over is also denial. And it has long term benefits

Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

It. Is. Finished.

I like this idea of collecting celebrations in a crystal bowl.

Blogger DouglasRYoung said...

I love the thought of giving over as opposed to giving up!

Ohhhhhhh to trudge!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LL -- I have felt drawn to observe Lent over the past three years, but since my church family never did, I found myself going it alone. It's hard to walk through the wilderness alone, but maybe in doing so, I understood Jesus' wilderness just a tad differently.

I am interested to hear how playing and sorrowing become a means of grace in your life this season!


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