Thursday, March 3, 2011


Lent starts next week. I like to give up something for Lent.  I joke that it's so God will know that if I promise to give up something for Lent and am successful, then he'll know I can keep a promise. Then when I tell him that half of my lottery winnings would go to Him, that my chances are better. But here's the real reason. (It's going to take a minute to get around to my point...but stick with me.)

A few years ago I was walking back from lunch with a coworker who was telling a story and every other sentence was "God Damn" this and "Jesus Christ" that.  After a while, I said "easy on the GD's man."  His reply was "Why? Are you religious."   I paused a minute. This very question has always been my struggle.  So I do what you do when you need to pause, and I answered a question with another question. "Would my being religious change anything?"  And his answer was yes, he'd watch what he'd say around me.  Basically, he'd be someone he's not, around me. 

Why do people do that?  Like I'm the one you need to mind your P's and Q's around. Or is it a fear that if they are completely vulgar and heathenness around me, I am going to hound them to drink a nice sip of Kool Aid from this little Dixie cup. Uhg. The term Religious and all of it's negative connotations.  I wish I would have had the chops to tell that kid  the following (but it just came to me- two years later):

I'm not religious. But I AM a believer. Hearing you drop my creator's name around like it's profanity makes me cringe, even though I myself have dropped the JC's , with a cigarette hanging out one side of my mouth and a beer in one hand no less (mmmmm beer).  My saying that I'm a Christian doesn't mean I'm a pusher, or into guilt trips and I don't think the way to show grace and love is to preach damnation and tell you the perfect way to live. (This is the point in the story that my brother likes to interject that I once told him, in high school, that I thought he was going to hell because he drank beer. We like to laugh about that now.) I just know that a price was paid for me, and I'm want to try and live up to that gift. And most likely I'll fail miserably.  But a girl's gotta try right?

And that's what I was thinking about this pre-Lent season. Lent being a season of prayer and penance and preparation for the celebration of Easter. Easter marking that gift I was talking about, of Love and Redemption and Grace and the discovery of Cadburry Eggs.  Last year I had the sweats about what I was going to give up for Lent. I wanted it to be something significant enough that when I thought of that "thing" 800 times a day, I would think about why I gave it up. Thinking about grace 800 times a day no doubt should give you a heart of gratitude and seep into other areas of your life. I gave up Facebook. I'm not really sure if I ended up being a nicer person because of it. But like I said, a girl's gotta try, right?

This year, I hadn't come up with anything; so I asked The Taz what she was going to give up. She said "Roller coasters." (As a side note, The Taz has no concept of what it means to give up anything, and I mean anything.) That was no help. So I turned to Facebook. I looked at my "year in review" status updates. The word brownie kept popping up.


I think I have the sweats again.

1 comment:

  1. Love this. And I HATE that question! "Are you religious?" IT is like ICK rolling off the other parties tongue. I want to shout (which most always in inappropriate given the circumstance) "IM NOT RELIGIOUS, I JUST LOVE JESUS" -im pretty sure if I shouted this people stop talking to me all together. =) Lent..that is another thing to think about all together. (is it right to make the bambino give up something, I mean she is a helpless little banana sized human just along for the ride...okay thats an excuse.)