Saturday, February 28, 2009

f@%k lent

most of you know that i casually keep the church calendar and have made quite a point about lent these past few years. maundy tuesday caught me totally off guard - i was in line at the hospital caf and saw they were serving pancakes and just about cried. no ash wednesday, no planning, no praying, no intentional marking of these precious 40 days. i felt ashamed, guilty and frustrated. how could i have lost something so big. i joke that every year christmas sneaks up on my mother in law. like it floats around on the calendar like easter and she just can't seem to remember when it is.

that's how i felt with lent this year. i see so many delving deep on their blogs and i can't even read their beautiful lenten thoughts.

fuck the desert. i'm sick and tired of the damn desert.

i switched with liam yesterday to come home and collect myself for the weekend. there was a wonderful email from erin:

"Looks like Lent came early for you this year. I don't know that anyone would choose to give up their family (in that way) for so long, but it feels from here like some desert wandering."

it's exactly how i feel. (thank you erin). winter is kicking my ass and so is this hospital stay. i finally breathed fresh air yesterday (for the first time in a week) when i walked to the parking lot to head home. i'm wiped out. we just keep getting creamed by bad news and i'm sick of it - i'm sick of the pressure people around me put on me unknowingly for me to have some good news for them because they're praying so hard and their faith in god hinges on the health of my son. fuck the desert.

we were told yesterday that he could go home with an antibiotic pump on monday if he was fever free for 72 hours. we had made it 24. by yesterday at 2:00 when he spiked a fever we were both a puddle of tears. so much pressure on a 10 year old boy who wants to be home by his 11th birthday wednesday. fuck. fuck. fuck.

what could live in his body after all of the mass spectrum antibiotic to cause a fever after this just terrifies me. he has nothing left to fight with and neither do i. his spine is poking out his back like a baby dragon that has just hatched from an egg. my precious, vibrant, beautiful son has been reduced to an ashen, waxy, hunched over boy who is so tired of being a specimin that other people crowd around to poke, examine and talk about like he wasn't even there. i see him withdrawing and it frightens me. i am so damn scared.

i have a wonderful friend who tells me that the railing i am doing at god is precious to him - it shows how much faith i have. i just need spring, new creation and green right now. life, beauty, color. everything feels so grey. so i am taking in beauty, color and life for lent. fuck the desert. ya'll can nest there if you want to - but i've given up enough right now and i just can't spare any more.


Hope said...

(((((bobbie)))) Man, I just about typed boobie. Good thing there is a delete key.
love you.

anj said...

Still holding you, and yours, in the Light. No need for good news, but any news is nice, when you have the energy to update. Sometimes we do Lent, sometimes Lent does us. Isn't it all about accepting life on life's terms? IMHO, life's terms often suck.

gracie said...

LOL Hope!!!
Wow Bobbie... I have to say that "his spine is poking out his back like a baby dragon that has just hatched from an egg" is one of the best lines I have read in a while. Amazing image. Painful but amazing.
And you are an amazing mother. You love that little dragon. There would be something very plastic about you if you went through all this without saying fuck.

And I hope you know that no matter how long you have to continue saying it (fuck that is), nobodys faith is faith at all if it depends on you instead of God.

~m2~ said...

oh, my dear friend...i am praying, i am hoping, i will not stop. God's timing is perfect and i agree with you: it does completely suck. all of it.

keep railing at God. He is in this, yes, even this.

love you.

(i am also grateful for hope's delete key ;)

Steve F. said...

My dear sister, I'm going to gently point you back to this post of mine, and urge you to read the quote at the beginning of it.

Note that if a spiritual giant like Brennan Manning can have times when he is spiritually flatlined, then your shouting at God just might be OK.

After all, by definition your understanding of God is big enough and durable enough to withstand your questions and doubts and anger, and still love you and hold you through the desert times. That's a pretty big understanding of God.

I, too, had the same feelings - in this area, there is a large Polish-Catholic population, and paczki's (pronounced poonshski around here, for some reason) are the sign of the onset of Lent. And seeing them in stores had the same effect on me that the pancakes had on you.

I remember each Lent being a time of spiritual cleansing, renewal. I remember weeping openly at the "Holden Evening Prayer" services. And this year, I am just so not there.

I am so damn tired of the empty giving-up, so tired of the hollow righteousness of people giving up chocolate while people in Darfur are dying. As a friend of mine says, "Homey just don' wanna play dis game..."

I'm grateful for Dr. Tex Sample, and his interpretation of John 1:14as a God who "pitches tent among us," rather than just dwells with us. (The word "dwelt" also translates as "tabernacled," to erect a temporary dwelling place.)

As I remember him saying it, "A God who dwells in the next brick mansion over isn't close enough to hear the screaming. A God who pitches tent with us is close enough to hear the weeping in the next tent."

I guess I need to spend some more time reading - because all this stuff that I've forgotten is bubbling up to the surface.... so it seems that your shouting can still minister to me, sister.

bobbie said...

thank you steve - that quote is incredible. there has been much weeping in the tent. love you!