Soul Stink

One of the unfortunate results of a cleansing fast is the stink. Exiting toxins imbue every bodily secretion–saliva, sweat, urine–with the putrid, rotten odor of death. Death leaving the body……

I am SO over Lent!

It is making me stink.

Or rather, maybe, it is making me aware of the stink–the putrid, rotten odor of death–that dwells in me. A few days ago I sat across a table from friends–one Protestant, one Anglican, one Orthodox–each of us keeping Lent in our own way. We talked about how weary we are of Lent. How weary we are of ourselves. Petty, tired, irritable, hungry.

Consider this: In the poignant book, Unbroken, I just read about Olympic runner turned WWII flyboy, Louis Zamperini, whose plane was downed over the Pacific. In the 45 days during which he was at sea (before being captured by the enemy), he only ate every 7 or 8 days or so, IF he could snag a bird or fish. At first I thought, “How could I be so ungrateful while eating fresh strawberries and mangoes?” And then………then it occurred to me that while he was eating rancid Albatross on a boat surrounded by sharks under the burning sun on the edge of starvation, “At least he didn’t have to watch other people eating bacon!”

See what I mean?

And that’s not nearly the worst of it.

Selfishness…

pettiness…

weakness…

Putrid.

Rotten.

Death.

But….

….the earth is beginning to rumble….

Yesterday was Lazarus Saturday. If there was ever a guy with a potential stink problem, Lazarus was that guy. And yet, Lazarus defied death. Even the odor of death. Not by his own power. It was a gift. From One who loved him enough to weep over him.

And today….

Today, that One comes riding on a donkey…a parade of victory that belies the agonizing road that awaits Him. And yet, He carries LIFE with Him. I will greet Him with hope. Because I need Him. As desperately as Lazarus needed Him. I am wallowing in death. I am covered in its stench. I need LIFE

Hosanna in the Highest!! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!!