So as I was thinking about Lent, it occurred to me (on Fat Tuesday) that if I was going to make the effort to show up for this season of preparation, and I wanted my family to tag along on the forty day journey, that I might actually need to put something together this time.
By mid-day on Ash Wednesday, I finally made my way to Google and found some good free resources.....right after ordering a bunch of family devotionals on Amazon. (Admittedly, my timing is not always what it should be.)
Anyway, I found that by piecing the two free devotionals together, we had something worthwhile to guide us through the rawness of Ash Wednesday, and the whole mess beyond.
That night, we read from Genesis, the story of Adam and Eve and their partaking of the fruit and their eyes being opened to everything. (Poor souls!) And we stopped at the point where God's strolling along and calls out to them: "Where are you?"
Well, that is where I stopped it anyway.....the devotional carried on to consequences and such but I could not get past the fact that even though God knew what had happened, he still searched for them, called for them, beckoned them forward....like any loving parent, He still wanted to be in relationship with His children, no matter how strained it had become.
And so I explained to my family that God is searching for us, too, calling us by name, asking us to show up, wherever and however we are. Even now.
It also occurred to me that this story resonated with me on an entirely different level. You see, God set a rule for his naive children, then took his eyes off of them for like two seconds, didn't bother to vet the company that they kept (darn serpent) and then came back, only to find that they had been disobedient (uh, duh....) And while they were busy pointing fingers at each other (well, you know, except for the serpent who didn't have fingers to point!), he totally freaked out on them.....condemning them to a life of pain, suffering, toil, sweat, bread-eating and finally DEATH. I mean, really! Kind of overkill God, don't ya think? Sheesh. (First time parents....)
But we can glean a lot from this story. I mean, even God felt like inflicting suffering on his children in the name of consequences. I get that. I really do. Which is why next time my kids fall out of line I am just going to calmly repeat in my most ominous voice: "You are dust and to dust you shall return." And then lock them all out of the house.
Hey, if it's good enough for God.....
Day one. We showed up.