DAWN SCHON BLANCHARD
MRS. HARRY RUSSELL BLANCHARD JR
This picture came to me during the night as I thought about Ash Wednesday in the wee hours of its unfolding, and I was also thinking of posting with the Walk with Him Wednesday community at Ann’s. The topic at Ann’s is the spiritual practice of fasting. This is so appropriate for the beginning of Lent, which is a season of fasting as we make our way to Calvary before the victory celebration of Easter.
Such a wonderful season to be in when I am reading St John of the Cross and Dark Night of the Soul. Ann Voskamp said in her post today
It is an irrefutable law: one needs to be dispossessed of the possessions that possess — before one can be possessed of God.
Let the things of this world fall away so the soul can fall in love with God. God only comes to fill the empty places and kenosis is necessary – to empty the soul to know the filling of God.
But the flesh is corrupt. I can’t do it.
St John would concur. In the dark night God wants the soul emptied (the senses purged) so only He is left. He wants to communicate without flesh. He wants to communicate Spirit to spirit. Oh, as Ann so rightly says, “[We] can’t do it.”
The most difficult thing for a Martha like me is to rest, pause, watch and wait, especially if the time is ordinary and nothing seems to be happening. If I don’t feel Him, see Him or have assurance He is there, how am I with Him? How did Anna and Simeon ever live their lives out like they did? They were so close to God, but how? How did they know the baby circumcised in the temple on the eighth day was Jesus when the priests doing the circumcision didn’t know? It was just another ordinary day, but.they.knew. It is a matter of trust. I want to trust like that.
Lent is Mary time. It is a time to give up all the hustle and bustle of the every day. It is time to watch the Savior, wait on the Savior, and rest with the Savior. It is a time of Holy Pause. Today, Ash Wednesday, I realize I am but dust, but for some reason God loves dust. (He will certainly feel at home in my house.) I place the first emblem of spring on my Cradle to the Cross wreath. It is a cardinal. This little fellow (the male is a bright red) stays with us here in the northeast all winter. He doesn’t leave when the going gets tough and the snow flies hard and seeds are buried deep. He is the first on board as we journey to the cross here in the Blanchard household.
Now, what about the “tree” at the beginning of the post? I don’t know. Do you? God gave it to me in the wee hours of the morning. I don’t know what He had in mind, but I’m posting it just the same. Perhaps I will go back up and place a cardinal there somewhere.
Blessings, Good Friends,