Monday, April 7, 2008

Fasting from Joy

Today "dawns" (if you can call it that) an endless gray. The sky weeps, pouring out its endless tears on my tired soul. Today I move in a fog as heavy as that that covers the mountains and enfolds the lake. Today I want to stay in bed forever. Everything, especially the writing looks hopeless. Somehow its always the writing that does that first, a precursor to all of life looking wet and gray.

And as I look at the stack of laundry on the floor contemplating the difficult task of getting dressed, comes to me something quite unrelated.

"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

I get up, put on my clothes, make my breakfast. I realize, today I am fasting. I'm fasting from joy.

I'm fasting from hope, from belief, from faith in a future. Today I am hungry for joy, for the feeling that life will work out for the best, for the feeling that what I do matters. Yes, today I'm hungry.

Today I write without joy, without hope, without grace.
And perhaps that hunger will remind me that I serve Someone greater. Perhaps my Father will use that hunger so that on some day in the future I will feast on joy until I cannot hold another bite.

Today, a bit of lent in the season of Easter is a promise that one day I will fast no longer.