Lent: Day 11

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This Lent I added the daily practice of writing. This is my Lenten journal. A self-commitment to use words in the daily practice of resurrection. 

_________
 

*The Penitent Saint Jerome, ca. 1627-1630, by Antonio d’Erico, called Tanzio da Varallo, Italian, 1575/80-c. 1635*

A few months ago I was walking through Nelson’s Art Museum in Kansas City, MO when, with a single glance, this image captivated me. I knew nothing about its origin or its creator, but as I stood before it I was entranced by its communication. It was as if I was looking into my very soul. I recognized the pain. I felt the anguish. I knew the inner desire mixed with confusion.

I’m sure the sincerity of my penitence pales to Jerome’s. But I think I have held a similar stone. A stone used to inflict pain upon myself in effort to increase my depth of penitence. The stone I often use on myself is the stone of disappointment…the feeling that I am a disappointment to others, and a disappointment to myself. 

This past month, I have been participating in a spiritual formation group called “Intentional Journey.” Truly, it has been formational. A salvation in many ways of my future. A transformative healing. As part of this healing, we were asked to identify our “shame name.” Mine was “I am a disappointment.” And as I began to unravel the stories from childhood through present day that have affirmed such an identity, I realized I had a choice. 

I get to set down the stone. 

And this evening, as I sit at my table following a long working day, I realize my hands are empty. I confess I am done with holding onto the stone of disappointment.

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