Second Lent   2 comments

Do-overs are packed with grace, but I often use them to beat myself with shame or obligation.  “Why couldn’t I get it right the first time?” I demand, or, “I’ll work twice as hard to make up for lost time.”  But grace invites me, without judgment, to try again… ironic given my Lenten goal of fasting from self-judgment. It was a great plan that was soon forgotten under the pressure of finishing my last semester and entering the job market in the middle of a pandemic-driven lock-down in which even church was closed.

So the Easter service was squeezed onto a computer screen between my Facebook browsing and covid-19 ferreting.  Instead of a triumph over isolation and fear, Sunday seemed to invite me back to solitude and reflection, a second lent.  And in that quiet, my soul whispered again of my need for gentleness towards myself.  This was a step further than before, not just ending my self-condemnation, but offering myself kindness and consideration, kisses to my spirit.


This feels like my 2020 calling—being generous to myself and others.  Inward and outward compassion is inextricable.  In my experience, true self-compassion never competes with compassion for others, but rather empowers it, while harshness toward myself poisons my love for others.  If I thrash myself for being late to work, I am angry with every driver who gets in my way.  If I make room for my mistakes, I won’t offer sighing patience over Kimberly’s.  Generosity is irresistibly expansive.  Grace towards anyone, even yourself, breeds grace towards everyone.  And when I fail, I get a do-over again and again, endless opportunities.


Posted April 15, 2020 by janathangrace in Personal, thoughts

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2 responses to “Second Lent

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  1. I am SOOOOO glad (delighted, exuberant) to see you are writing again! It means you really do have the time to breathe and expand your heart inward and outward and your mind has the space to put together the right words to express what you feel. It is like the heart-mind version of those marvelous mountain hiking photos you post on FB!! You are out there on your heart moutain again – breathing the presence of God permeating the spiritual air that you breathe!!! Sending you SOOO much love and gratitude for this grace in which God has embraced you to his infinite heart.

    • Aww, thanks for your enthusiasm! Yes, school is finally over and I only have a handful of clients along with my part time Home Depot work, so I have more emotional and reflective space and time to write.

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