Whenever I encounter people who are normal, who have healthy kids, zero chronic illness and who have all their material needs met in abundance I am always left a little bit bewildered. The temptation is towards envy, I won't deny it. I struggle against that, though, and I do believe that God gives me a bit of success in embracing my own reality of chronic illness, ups and downs, spectrum kids, etc. I am very very aware that for all the checks in my "grief and loss" column, it could be much much worse. I am very aware of all the gifts, talents and provisions that God has made for us. I am grateful.
So I learn to be grateful for what IS. And that is spiritual medicine.
Today I was reminded of the vast differences between where people are at when a stranger on facebook commented on a mutual friend's post about fasting: two meals a day, "dry eating"...that sort of thing.
Yes, I know, I have heard it before...this is not news to me.
I'd just forgotten, you see, because MY fast is so different. Due to the chronic illness issues, due to the Autism spectrum issues...due to lots of factors, that monastic level of so-called perfection will never be happening at MY house. And that is perfectly OK. In fact, it would be a sin.
But nonetheless, Lent is coming and that has got me to start reflecting: Each of our "fasts" may be different due to various factors, but they will all have this in common: The Lenten Embrace of the Cross of Christ.
Jesus says to his disciples (that's us) "Take up your cross and follow me." And the reminder is that MY CROSS, although it looks a bit different from the norm, is the one I MUST embrace. So I embrace the GAPS diet...that's my lenten cross which has been given to ME for my health and also my salvation. It requires me to do without ALL my favorite foods and it is for the health and healing of my body. I also embrace my kids' special needs and their various peculiarities and special diets. I embrace our economic situation, that is directly tied in to all these other issues. I embrace my lack of a HOUSE (this one is huge for me...I would SO love a lovely house and garden) and I will choose gratitude for our current dwelling place.
And so on and so forth.
The Lenten Embrace: "Take up your cross and follow me". Embrace the cross of Christ as it has been give to you. ...I'm writing to myself.
Any other path will not take us to Calvary, and Calvary is where we MUST go.