Lent Day 7. Today Here & Now editor, Debora Ragland Buerk shares and essay on the history of Lent and what Lent means to her.
Lent Day 6. Selah Center’s Executive Director Mary Pandiani shares the purpose of her Lenten contemplative journey.
Lent Day 5. Selah Companion Lynne Benson wonders “For What Do I Wait?” during Lent. Lynne shares a piece of her artwork.
Lent Day 4. We repost from The Plough’s Daily Dig a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Lent Day 3. As a follow up from Monday, Wendy Bryant offers a haiku inspired by the teachings of Dorotheos of Gaza. Entitled “Wholeness.”
Lent Day 2: As Here & Now begins this special series for Lent and Easter, Selah Center’s Executive Director Mary Pandiani invites you on a contemplative journey together. And, Debora Buerk provides information about the spiritual practices of Lectio Divina and Visio Divina. Read on…
Ash Wednesday. As Here & Now begins this special series for Lent and Easter, Selah Center’s Executive Director Mary Pandiani invites you on a contemplative journey together.
Wendy Bryant shares with us from the teachings of Dorotheos of Gaza, a desert father from the 6th century.
Today, Selah Companion Beth Griffith gifts us with one of her poems, “Climb Up to the Light” and illustrates it with her photography. Enjoy.
CHRISTOPHER A. BALL
fleeting injurious gratitude
when the throbbing surge of cracking bones
or torn tendons
inhibits your way in the world
from what you can see
or where you can be
not only does our day slow down
but our awareness of joy
in little ordinary parts of our day
can be held in remembrance
and with appreciation
until we heal up
and then we move on
forgetting the gifts
and expecting our wants
with endless disappointment
and constant angst
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Listening into Lent
A Quiet Day of Preparation for the Season
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2023, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM ON ZOOM FREE
Lent means “Spring” and, at the same time, was intended to draw our attention to forty days in the desert. Leaning into these contrasting images, may Lent be a season for (re)awakening for us. Whether it is found in anticipation of the budding life of spring or exposure to the wide open and barren spaces of the desert, let us intentionally approach this season with a quiet space and prayerful hearts in anticipation of new awakenings.
Let us take this day to sit before the Holy One in quietness and rest. Whether in centering prayer or journaling or any combination of spiritual practices, the time spent with God is intended to center our hearts for the season.
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Here & Now Lent Series 2023
February 22 – April 9
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Join us as we take a contemplative journey through Lent and Easter through a special edition of the Here & Now blog. Receive a daily blog post beginning February 22, Ash Wednesday through Easter, April 9. Members of the Selah Community write the Here & Now blog in an invitation to PAUSE, ENCOUNTER the Spirit through contemplative practices, and GROW TOGETHER toward wholeness and loving others.
From the writers of the Here & Now blog.
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By Zoanna Pearson
He babbled to himself. No teeth, dirty clothing, unshaven, cradling two small duffle bags to his chest. Sitting on a bench inside the grocery store, air-conditioned comfort on a 90-degree day.
My peripheral vision caught him, and we made eye contact for an instant. “Ma’am, some money?”
I quickly shifted my eyes to the doorway, parking lot, and safety. In my car, the haunting eyes were watery, weary, confused, and ashamed.
Yet buried deep in his soul, a spark of dignity.
Sitting in my car, I heard the words, “You go to Africa, you are going to China, yet you walk by a soul in your own town?”
I began to line up my excuses. I’m in a hurry; my husband is waiting, and I don’t have time. Is it safe? He is probably a druggie.
“There is no excuse…go back.”
And so I returned, walking up to him, I said, “I’m sorry I walked by you. Will you forgive me?”
Ignoring my feeble apology, he said, “I just need some money for food, Ma’am,” not speaking of forgiveness.
“May I take you to breakfast, sir?”
“I’d like that, he replied.”
And that is how we ended up at the fast food restaurant across the street; me, an elderly white woman, and he, a well-used black man somewhere shy of 65 years old.
Walking up to the counter to place our order, we were met with an icy stare and a visible backing off as if to put distance between the clean and the unclean.
By this time, I knew the Roamer’s name was Ricky; an interesting coincidence that my son-in-law, who died at 63, was also named Ricky.
“Order what you’d like, Ricky,” and he did; a sausage, egg & cheese biscuit, hash browns, and a large coffee with five creams and five sugars.
After taking our orders, the employee leaned over the counter and, in a stage whisper, said, “Would you mind if I put this in a to-go box? We don’t like ‘his kind’ in the restaurant.”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do mind. Ricky is my guest, and we will be dining together. Please add a $5.00 gift card to the order.”
Shocked? Yes. Until I remembered my reaction was no different when I walked by him in the grocery store, the chasm deep protecting the distance between us.
Waiting for the order, I asked him how he happened to be homeless. He told me sadly that his wife died two years ago, and his world fell apart. Truth? Who knows? It doesn’t matter.
“Feed my lambs.”
Ricky didn’t eat his breakfast; putting the gift card in a worn wallet, he neatly wrapped his breakfast in a napkin and put it in his duffle. He said he might be hungrier later.
But that is not the end of the story.
I drove home feeling both profoundly sad and warmly satisfied. When I opened my front door, my husband called out, “Just in time, I am taking the quiches out of the oven right now.” I had forgotten that he said he would bake a couple of small quiches while I went to the store, and we’d have breakfast together.
“Oh, Chuck, I’ve already eaten. I forgot.”
And then I told him the story of Ricky, the Wanderer, and the five creams and five sugars.
Never a scowl, never a hint of retribution or anger. “You did the right thing, Zoe,” my husband said. “You listened to what God was asking you to do.”
About Here & Now
An Invitation to Pause, Encounter & Grow Together.
Here & Now is published by Selah Center weekly. We invite you to subscribe to this blog if you enjoy this post. You’ll receive a notification by email each time a new post occurs.
Here & Now welcomes new writers–contact the Editor, Debora Buerk, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, we feature a poem written by our own Kathleen Heppell. In it, she writes how she feels when in Spiritual Direction.