How do you like my new look? I have changed within so I thought my look should be different on the outside too with a focus on simplicity—I think? The beard started because I did not want to shave over the incision from the surgery. Now I am in a trim and then shave cycle. I trim one day and then shave the next day. I might be getting lazy?
The Lent we have just finished was the best Lent of my life. While it was probably the most challenging physically and mentally, it was absolutely the best spiritually. In some ways it reminded me of my Thirty-Day St. Ignatius Retreat back in 1989.
This past Lent started with my third brain surgery and to be perfectly honest I did not make one decision about what I would give up during Lent. I had not thought much about what I would give up during Lent since I had not thought much about the surgery scheduled only a few days before. After surgery I could not read, write, drive, communicate well, discern things, care for myself, and comprehend things and other deficiencies. I did not choose to give up any of those things but they were gone. A lot was taken from me and I felt incredibly powerless. I was totally dependent on God and others which is a bit of a change for me.
The grace that was given to me I did not ask for either but it was given. I was not angry at God, the world, my weaknesses, cancer etc. I was grateful! Where did that come from? I was so grateful my prayer life probably increased 10 fold, partly because I could not read and I had to keep it simple, one Psalm at a time or one Hail Mary at a time. I was separated from what I was so used to and comfortable with; my routine, my sleep, my job, my freedom, my independence, my world in which I was in charge. The world I entered after the surgery was a world of helpless or powerless. That was now my reality. The scripture that has had a lasting impact on me is; “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I have been weak and am weak. This Lent I felt a strength that was beyond me and within me at the same time. That strength was God and there is nothing stronger.