Author: LindsayElise

Embracing Finitude

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  ~2 Corinthians 4:7 In the liturgical year, there is no more striking reminder of our mortality than on Ash Wednesday.  Our foreheads are marked with the cross and we hear “it is from dust you came, and to dust you shall return”.  It never fails to be a strange experience, standing as you would for a blessing, and receiving such sobering words; yet it is also surprisingly comforting.  It is a moment of release, a restoration of place.  It is the first step in the long Lenten journey, and it starts with a word of truth; a reminder of our finitude. I recently listened to a beautiful talk on “The Spirituality of Time” by Professor Sarah Williams from Regent College.  In it, she explores the nature of time and our post-modern society’s view contrasted with the perspective of the church.  She makes many profound observations, but the most striking among them was an emphasis on …

The February Garden: A Pre-Lenten Reflection

The February garden is a sacred place.  After the rubble and debris of Autumn’s first frost are cleared away, there falls a deep, expectant silence.  What appears barren holds the promise of new life.  The parallels to our liturgical year are rich and striking.  As we approach Lent, there is a process of stripping bare.  We rid our lives of unnecessary entanglements and distractions and withdraw from a world that glorifies activity and self-gratification. In our chaotic culture, times of rest and preparation are undervalued if not disdained.  We have an obsession with the overt.  I remember when I first came to this realization  I was in my first year of medical school.  Already, I had to start thinking of ways to build my resume for residency applications.  At the time I was voraciously reading books on theology and spirituality.  I hungered for truth and community, yet the time spent cultivating character, virtue, and relationship was not something that could be placed on a list of achievements.  There was pressure to create an external, visible, and measurable persona, …