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Annie Turner

Annie Turner
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

LENT FOR THE REBELLIOUS

I have struggled with Lent over the many years that I have been a Christian (38 and 13 as a Catholic Christian), and find that Lent feels like an extended rainy season to me--full of deprivation, uncomfortable, with rain dripping down the back of my shirt, and no fireplace or hot tea in sight. I have tried (God knows I've tried....) to "give up something" for years, and most often fail. Then I become swamped with guilt at being a "Lenten fail" and resolve to do better "next year," thinking that giving up wine might be a fine way to go.
Really?  In mid-winter? Who invented this? Were they completely insane, under the control of aliens, or perhaps alien Puritans?
After all these years I have finally figured out what is the catch for me with this whole Lenty business: having been sexually abused as a quite young child (not by a family member), and also the victim of an accidental gun wound when young, the prospect of giving something up absolutely triggers my shit.  I feel rebellious and wounded by the whole shebang. Also in need of lavish retail therapy and perhaps some uncut diamonds.  Another two centuries of therapy might cure me, but maybe not, and besides I hear that therapy with dead people is not highly successful. 
So I am taking control of this Lenty thing (and isn't control the whole issue when you have been the victim of violence and/or abuse?), and writing my own script this year.
--Nope, to giving up wine, chocolate, bagels, hot tubs, trashy romances, pizza, and books from Amazon.com.  I am going to focus on giving out this year, which many pastors now recommend; witness the marvelous Rev. Andrea Ayvazian at the Haydenville, MA UCC.  Let this be a season of abundance instead of a season of deprivation, which will also mirror God's abundance in sending Jesus to us semi-crazed humans. With that in mind, here are some things I will take on:
1/ Give several packages of disposable diapers to the Survival Center each Friday.  It's my Lenty Friday thing.  Diapers are required at Day Care centers which watch the young children of working women, some of them poor, and Food Stamps do not cover disposables.
2/ As a practice of gratitude and abundance, I will write one note per day to thank people for being part of my life.  This might include an old school friend who saved my life by hanging out with me, even though I was a commy-pinko atheist at the time.
And that is it for the Lenty thing, though even this tiny list is making me sweat and feel itchy.  It is hard being such a rebellious, snarky dame, but I have to live with this and find ways to mirror God's abundance that don't make me feel crazy or needy.  I'll let you know how it goes.