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Before the dust settles

ashesBeing asked to reflect and write about Lent will result in a very different Lenten experience for me this year. As Providence Associate Director Sister Diane Mason reminds us frequently, we must “dig deep.” My Providence Associate companion extraordinaire, Sister Peggy Nau, said to me often: “Listen!”

So I waited 30 days before sitting down and writing this – purposely — not because of procrastination. And now I wonder … is 30 days enough listening time to prepare? Or do I need the whole season of Lent to “listen”?

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust

My first thought was of our Ash Wednesday service and the outward sign of our belief. Genesis 2:7 – “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.” Genesis – 3:19 – “For dust you are and to dust you shall return.” When I got past the “dust” business (which didn’t take long), I began thinking that Ash Wednesday and Lent is the time that will begin my preparation for “after the dust.” Stories outside of the “dust” came to mind — all with the theme of calling, fear of being called, forgiveness, and acceptance.

The Prodigal Son

In Luke 15, the saddened and longing father prepared a feast for his wayward son. He said, “He was lost and now is found.” How long did that father hold onto his love and hope of finally seeing the wayward son return! Here is Jesus’ parable of unconditional love. Of waiting, and forgiveness, and the Prodigal Son’s fear of returning to his father and his home. Indeed, he didn’t even want his father to see him! How long has our Creator been waiting for our return? To reach out, to accept the original unconditional love?

Hosea and Hagar

This story from the Book of Hosea is about the depth of God’s forgiveness and the power of undying love. Again, the theme of calling and forgiveness is told as Hosea and Hagar are separated. And once more the Creator is calling for us to return after our long periods of absence.

Let this cup pass from me

In Matthew 26:39, even Jesus is thinking about not fully giving into God’s calling him home. “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” How humanness shows during the struggle! How often do I put God off – asking God to wait just a little while longer – until I’m ready to give myself, in my own time and on my own terms. And how often do I ask to be allowed to give less because I really can’t (don’t have time) to give more!

I will use this time of Lent to think about being with the Creator now. Before my dust settles. I will imagine from the Creator’s point of view: the longing, the waiting, the patience. I will try to keep fear at bay and try to answer that call while still on this earth.

As Sister Dawn Tomaszewski says, “We do get ‘To God through Music.’” I know I do. Throughout my reflection, this song about longing, coming home and rest was on ‘replay’ and has become my Lenten theme song.

Hosea Lyrics (Weston Priory) –
Come back to me with all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart.
Trees do bend, though straight and tall; so must we to others’ call.
Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.
The wilderness will lead you to your heart where I will speak.
Integrity and justice with tenderness you shall know.
Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.
You shall sleep secure with peace.
Faithfulness will be your joy.
Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.
Come back to me with all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart.
Trees do bend, though straight and tall; so must we to others’ call.
Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.

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Jane Fischer

Jane Fischer is a Providence Associate. She is a member of the Miracle Place Providence Circle and volunteers at Craine House in Indianapolis. She and husband Chuck are both retired and are members of St. Monica Church in Indianapolis. Jane grew up in Southern Indiana and was taught by the Sisters of Providence at St. Joseph's Elementary School where the sisters also taught her to play piano.

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4 Comments

  1. S. Denise Wilkinson on February 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Dear Jane, I very much like your blog that I just now read. And I love when “the dust settles.” Words to ponder….S.Denise

    • S.Laura on February 12, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Dear Jane,
      Your writing of our very humanness stopped me in my tracks…how I sometimes only want to bring my best self to God’s presence; in my own very time.
      I am reflecting on my presence with others… do I do the same,bringing myself only when I am feeling good about myself and not bringing my shadow self?
      Thank you, Jane, for furthering these thought processes for my Lenten journey.
      S. Laura

  2. Paula Damiano, SP on February 12, 2016 at 9:59 am

    “When the dust settles.” Such a good image. Thanks.

  3. Jenny Nowalk, PA on February 13, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Jane, So often I think “it’s just me”……..part of my prideful self wants to think “it’s just me”. but reading this. that thought is blasted away. “listen”. “come back to me with all your heart”….Long Have I Waited. This one year when I welcome Lent because I am ready. Thanks Jane! What a blessing you are!

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