And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.
– William Blake
The Lost Son Wakes from His Dream
Up to your knees in hog dung
egg shells, coffee grounds
black banana peels
rancid grease, moldy bread.
from this putrid
dream of your demise.
Tune in to your reality show.
Walk off the set of this drama
and come to yourself.
pull that dying man out of the muck
wash his stinking feet.
Take a chance on mercy.
Go ahead. Say it.
You had it all wrong.
Spit out the words stuck in your craw
like a piece of broken glass:
I am sorry.
And come on home.
there will be a party
Luke 15: 11-32
Note to readers: This blog is part of a series of Lenten “short takes” on the themes of lent, which follow more or less the lectionary Scripture lessons for this season. Like a note you find tucked under the bark of a tree, a lozenge to let melt in your mouth, an amulet to wear around your neck, I hope these little reflections may hold a small dose of truth or comfort or challenge for your life on the way to Easter.
In the abundance of words which inundate us daily, it is easy for the message of redemption to be buried under the latest disaster, outrage or scandal. Likewise the familiar stories and passages of lent may grow dull and trite to ears and hearts already stuffed with words.
I have noticed in my work as spiritual director that it is hard for many of us to take in the goodness and grace, as well as the challenge of the story of Jesus and God’s redeeming love. Perhaps we need to titrate the gospel. Sometimes a well- timed, tiny dose, carefully administered, may be what the Physician orders for our healing. And so slowly we build up our tolerance for love and more and more joy finds the faith in us through which to invade our being.
Dose titration: adjustment of the dose until the medication
has achieved the desired effect