Change is Hard (eCrozier #260)

Change is hard. We resist it. I resist it. I prefer the familiar, the known, the comfortable. It helps me make sense of the world. I’m drawn to rules and routines because it reduces the level of chaos in my life.

Some rules, routines, habits, and customs are life-giving. They help shape our faithful living as long as they remain realistic and manageable, rather than become yet another piece of evidence of how we have failed to live up to some standard (our or others). When that happens, we can fall into the trap of unhelpful self-judgment leading to the downward spiral of self-condemnation.

This means that personal change, or what we in faith would call spiritual transformation, must come from the inside working of the Holy Spirit in our lives rather than from the outside critique of others. I know from personal experience that the changes I’ve made in my life and the spiritual transformation I’ve experienced never was aided by constant nagging from others or from their very willing desire to point out my many faults. Some “trolls” don’t just live in cyberspace. Such change and transformation, if it is to be real and lasting, comes from the inside out.

This is not to say that feedback from others should be ignored simply because it comes from outside of us. Those who love us enough to be truthful with us are indispensable partners in our personal and spiritual growth. We need to hear from them. While such feedback may not always be pleasant to receive, if we can avoid getting defensive, it can be an important ingredient in our work of personal and spiritual growth.

Even then, making a change in the way we live our lives, rather than displaying the pretension of change (see the New Yorker cartoon above), is still no walk in the park. If we fail (and often, we will, at least in our initial efforts), we can spiritually beat ourselves up and see ourselves as complete failures, which then reinforces unhelpful self-judgment. But if we succeed, we actually open ourselves to another danger of developing a self-righteous stance in the world. In effect we’d be saying: “See what I did! Why can’t

everyone be like me?”

Personal, spiritual change is hard. As we seek it, we should avoid connecting it to God’s grace-filled love for us. God loves us whether we make a desired change or not. This is actually the most liberating news we can receive. It can give us the grace and the courage to become what God desires for us.

+Scott

 

Sanctus bells have served an important role in the Church’s worship. Traditionally, they were a call for the congregation gathered to pay attention to what was happening at the altar. In a time before pews and when the mass length was much longer, Sanctus bells called people out of whatever distraction, or dare we say sleep, to give their attention to the Blessed Sacrament of the Church that was being celebrated at the altar.

Our culture receives the ring of a Sanctus bell from time to time to call us to attention. It can call us to a deeper awareness of the kind of culture we’ve nurtured over hundreds of years. Such a ring can also sound out a truth about ourselves we may not wish to hear (e.g. we’ve been asleep). We’ve received a number of clear Sanctus bells over the last year. Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and now Walter Scott were all unarmed African-American men killed by a member of the police force. They’re not the only ones. There are many others who have received less notice and media attention.

A simplistic response to these particular Sanctus bells would seek only to blame the individual police officers involved. They’re the few so-called “bad apples.” To solve this problem then means to get rid of these policemen. But that is akin to a physician treating a cancer in someone’s leg deciding just to cut off the leg and not look at the patient’s whole body for other signs that the cancer might be present as well. The cancer of racism has infected the whole body of America. For generation upon generation it’s infected us all with irrational fears and false conclusions about one another. It’s distorted and deranged our ability to see and understand clearly.

Police officers have a difficult, dangerous vocation. We can’t expect them to be social workers or clinical psychologists. They’re formed and shaped by the same culture in which we were raised. Their police training can’t trump the culture of racism. It’s too big and pervasive. They’ve become a reflection of the deeper problem racism creates. That helps explain what happened when Officer Thomas Slager of the North Charleston Police Department stopped Mr. Walter Scott for having a broken car taillight. Because of racism’s cancerous effects, each one “knew” something about the other. Mr. Scott “knew” of the historical power of the police to kill black men, even for a broken taillight. So, he fled. Officer Slager “knew” of the power of black men, even an unarmed one much older than he, to possibly kill him. So, he shot Mr. Scott in the back four times as he fled. What they “knew” about each other led to this tragedy.

Officer Slager should face criminal consequences for this murder. It will be overly facile, however, if we believe that’s all that needs doing. We must learn to “unknow” the distorted and deranged “knowledge” that racism has bequeathed to us. That’ll be hard work for us all, but it’s work we all must do. We haven’t done this work either because we didn’t want to believe it was still necessary or because we never believed it was necessary in the first place. I hope it’s the former and not the latter. Because if we remain willfully ignorant of what racism has done and is still doing to our body politic, we’ll ignore the cancer that infects us all. The Sanctus bell is ringing loudly and clearly.

+Scott

 

 

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
― Winston S. Churchill

The states of Indiana and Arkansas have recently enacted laws purportedly to protect the religious freedom of their citizens. Some see these laws as back door efforts to discriminate against others, particularly gay and lesbian citizens. Other people see these laws as needed in order to protect their religious beliefs and convictions. So, through the democratic process we as citizens are trying to honor what may appear to be competing moral claims: On one hand, the right to practice one’s religion as one sees fit, and on the other hand, the right not to be discriminated against because of who you are.

But are these really competing moral claims? I don’t think so, not if we’re actually committed to honoring both. Yet, in order to honor both we must first acknowledge what’s happening. There are those who aren’t being honest about their real agenda. Some pushing for the religious freedom laws really do want to discriminate against gay and lesbian persons because they believe such person’s sexuality is against God’s law. But they feel they can’t get what they want if they present it that way, so they seek the cover of such laws. Then there are some who oppose these religious freedom laws because they really don’t want to protect religious beliefs with which they disagree. Laws that protect such religious belief, in their mind, will simply further legitimize that belief. But they, too, don’t feel they can get what they want if they present it that way.

Democracy is messy. Laws help sort through this messiness, but laws alone can never make us respect the dignity of all persons. Laws can make us behave within certain boundaries, but enacting laws will never be able to change our hearts and minds so mutual respect can flourish. Learning to honor the dignity of others, even those with whom we disagree, is the necessary first step. Otherwise people on the extremes will prevail. That means religious believers who are opposed to gay and lesbian person’s sexuality must insist that gay and lesbian persons won’t have their dignity abused by discrimination. Likewise gay and lesbian persons must respect people’s religious beliefs that lead them to oppose homosexuality. That means not calling such persons bigots or suing them when they won’t provide a service. Rather they should support the huge and growing number of service providers who will gladly provide that service.

People on the extremes will oppose this. Depending on their views, what I’ve proposed will lack either a religious or a justice backbone. Both extreme positions demand complete purity and total fealty to their way of seeing the world. They are the Pharisees of the extremes. There’s a way forward that doesn’t capitulate to such Pharisees. It’ll require a critical mass on all sides of this issue to exercise genuine humility and to show remarkable restraint. This will lead us all toward an empathic compassion for those who disagree with us. Such humility, restraint, and compassion will invite us to recognize that each of us has a common human dignity imprinted with the image of God. God’s image is even present with those who we might find objectionable or offensive.

+Scott

 

For I have given you an example that you also should do as I have done to you.
- John 13:15

What Maundy Thursday proclaims is far from the splendor of much of modern religion. Rather, it’s the menial, sometimes degrading, task of washing another person’s feet. What Jesus shows us in this humble act is his steadfast love for us. This simple act of foot washing also anticipates and symbolizes the more demeaning act of his death.

And even though Jesus had been with them all this time, the disciples still needed this particular example to know him fully. Foot washing then isn’t just a model for Christian behavior. It’s a vivid portrayal of God’s nature in Christ. It’s God’s nature to wash the ugly and the smelly, to clean us from the foul smell of our sin. When this sinks home, with Peter we can cry out: “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” So, it’s the nature of our Loving God to make the unworthy, worthy and the unclean, clean.

We can follow our Lord’s example and wash one another’s feet until our hands are raw and soggy, but unless we do so with our hearts and minds focused on Jesus, we’ll only come away from our service feeling exhausted from giving ourselves up to such a menial task. We should not wash feet because it’s fun, rewarding, or pleasant, because it clearly isn’t. We don’t serve the lonely, the lost, and the left out because doing so makes us feel good about ourselves. While we may indeed derive a good feeling from serving others, that should not be our purpose in doing so.

As the Church, we wash feet, we serve others, because that’s what Jesus showed us to be the very nature of the Incarnate God, and thus, the nature of what the Church ought to be. We don’t engage in loving service so others will see us as saintly people. We could never fool that many people, could we? Rather, we do it because we’re in the practice of being the Church. And the Church must reflect the nature of God if it’s indeed going to be the Church of Jesus.

Still, the act of foot washing exposes our ongoing confusion as the Church. In the early Church, Christians stood as they worshiped God (there were no pews or kneelers) and they knelt before others in loving service as Christ’s Body. Then we turned that upside down. We began to kneel before God and to stand over others dispensing service. On Maundy Thursday, we relearn the proper position. We wash one another’s feet; and maybe even harder, we allow others to wash our feet. We’re reconciled to Christ: standing before God as daughters and sons, and kneeling before others in loving service.

We meet God in the person of Jesus. And in the person of Jesus we find one who humbles himself, kneels at our feet, washes them, and on the next day, dies for the sins of the world. The Church, the people of God, must also be like that. We must be willing to kneel and humbly serve our sisters and brothers. That’s God incarnated in Jesus. Our call as his disciples, as Jesus tells us, is to do to one another as he has done to us.

+Scott

 

 

While repentance is a year-round, daily practice for all disciples of Jesus, we’re aided by the Lenten season when we particularly focus on this practice. Repentance isn’t about being sorry for our sins, although personal sorrow is probably an appropriate emotion we experience while repenting. Repenting isn’t a feeling or an idea. Repentance is an action where we intentionally seek to change our understanding of ourselves in relationship to God, and consequently, the way we live in the world. The Greek word for repentance in the Bible, metanoia, literally means: “to change our understanding.”

A story that instructs me in my repentance is the story of a rather obscure saint of the Church. Her name was St Mary of Egypt. In her early life, Mary was a prostitute in Alexandria, Egypt. One day, she went to exercise her profession down at the boat docks and there saw two groups of men. One was a group she knew well, a group of sailors. The other group was a group of Christians heading for Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. Without thinking, she decided to go with the pilgrims to Jerusalem. Her life story even reports that she exercised her profession among, shall we say, the less mature pilgrims on the boat trip to Jerusalem.

When they arrived in Jerusalem she had a profound experience. She went with the pilgrims to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is the Church built on the place of Jesus’ crucifixion. She saw the pilgrims enter the Church and she tried to enter with them. But when she tried to enter, she couldn’t. A force she couldn’t see was keeping her out. She tried again to enter, but to no avail. She left the Church’s entrance and ran into the city. She spent the day repenting of all that she had done throughout her life that had obstructed her relationship with God. The next day she entered the Church. She left a changed person. She had changed her understanding of herself, of God, and of her life in the world.

She spent the rest of her life, over 40 years, in the desert south of Jerusalem. There she lived in prayer and praise of God. We’d know nothing of her life, if it hadn’t been for a monk, Abba Zosimas, who accidentally came upon her, a naked old woman, in the desert when he went there for solitary prayer. At their meeting, she told him her life story. But before she did, this is what she said to him: “I am ashamed, Abba, to speak to you of my disgraceful life, forgive me for God’s sake! But when I start my story you will run from me, as from a snake, for your ears will not be able to bear the vileness of my actions. But I shall tell you all without hiding anything, only imploring you first of all to pray incessantly for me, so that I may find mercy on the day of Judgment.”

Notice the honesty and humility of her words. Not present are the arrogant and entitled words that we so often hear today. Her words do not presume a sense of deserving anything, yet they are filled with the hope of God’s love. St Mary of Egypt saw herself clearly and changed her understanding. She repented. Her life story invites us to do the same, trusting that when we do, God will not run from us, “as from a snake,” but rather that God’s mercy will envelop us “on the day of Judgment.”

+Scott

 

God’s Mercy & Exhausting Judgment (eCrozier #255)

God’s mercy is the heart of what we observe in Lent. Mercy describes God’s essential nature wherein God says to us: “Even though you’ve broken my laws and my covenant, I won’t break you. I forgive you.When Jesus cries from the cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” he was being overly kind and especially polite. Because I think we knew exactly what we were doing to Jesus on the cross. And we did it anyway.

There is no Christianity without mercy because it’s God’s essential nature. There’s no intelligible explanation of the Christian faith that anyone can make that doesn’t have God’s mercy foremost in it. Mercy is the proto-virtue because it alone creates a space for forgiveness to grow. Without mercy, there can be no forgiveness. So, if we wish to participate in what God is up to in the world, then our practice of mercy will be essential to our identity. We must learn to practice mercy, not judgment, with everyone.

We, however, live in a culture rampant with judgment. We’re judged all the time. It’s everywhere. Our bosses judge us on our job performance. Our neighbors judge us over the weeds in our yard. We’re judged when we don’t dress in the right fashion. We’re judged by the words we choose. We’re even judged by our spouses, friends, and parents. Even our children judge us. Oh my! And such constant judgment exhausts us because we can rarely measure up to their judgment. Even when we do measure up, we often end up thinking we really haven’t. Such is the power of living under such daily judgment.

There’s a story of a woman who took her ten year-old grandson to spend the day at the beach. She brought his sand toys and a blanket, beach chair, and umbrella for herself. When it all was set out, she told her grandson to go play while she settled down to read. Minutes later she heard her grandson crying out. She looked up from her book and saw that he was far out in the water struggling against powerful waves. The lifeguard on duty was already swimming out toward the boy fighting a strong tide and relentless waves. At last, he grabbed the boy, but it took him a half hour before he could bring the boy safely to the shore. A crowd gathered around the exhausted lifeguard as he administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Minutes later the boy coughed up the water from his lungs and sat up breathing normally. The crowd cheered. The lifeguard rolled onto his back in the hot sand completely spent from his work. The grandmother smiled and looked at her grandson. Then she stared down at the exhausted lifeguard lying in the sand. With a look of displeasure, she said to the lifeguard: “He had a hat!”

We know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of judgment, earned and unearned. It’s not that we don’t often deserve judgment. Of course, we do. But it’s not about what you, I, or anybody else deserves. Rather it’s about what God is up to in this world through Jesus. God is up to mercy. Jesus’ cross on Good Friday proclaims that eternal truth. So, what if we became flagrant in granting mercy to everyone all the time? What if we just gave up sitting on the judgment seat and sat in a place of mercy instead? We would offer a compelling witness to the mercy Jesus embodied in his life and in his death. And in the process we would change the world for his sake.

 

+Scott

 

Forgiving Others (eCrozier #254)

Forgiving others is one of the hardest things we’re commanded to do by Jesus. The hurt can be so deep. And since we can’t undo what’s been done (although many hold on to a fantasy that the past must change), where does all the pain and anger of the sin go? Often it gets projected on to the people around us. Or it gets directed inwardly into self-destructive behaviors and, sometimes, into self-medication.

Yet, this isn’t a minor teaching by Jesus that can have many interpretations. Jesus is clear: we must forgive, if we expect God to forgive us. He states this plainly in the prayer he taught us to pray: “forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who sins against us. (Luke 11:4)” So, we must learn to forgive. Minor transgressions against us are easy to forgive, but when we’ve been deeply wounded by another, it’s hard to forgive. And then when we hear the command of Jesus to forgive and we can’t yet forgive, we can experience guilt over this inability. If that happens, things become compounded: we haven’t forgiven the other person and we’re also now paralyzed by guilt that we haven’t forgiven. This is where real, deep despair occurs.

Taking all the above into account, let’s look at what steps we can take to forgive:

1) Ease the pressure on ourselves. Forgiving others is a process of our spiritual growth. We aren’t born “forgivers.” We learn to forgive as we see it modeled in our homes, communities, and churches. We need patience with ourselves when it comes to forgiving so we can develop the spiritual maturity and capacity to forgive. Once we have learned to do so, it becomes more a part of spiritual practice in life.

2) Don’t get hooked into the emotional state of the sin against us. We must find a place to stand outside the sin (St Igantius called this “detachment”). When we’re emotionally entangled we can’t move towards forgiveness. Rather, we become fused to the hurt of the sin and we lose our identity as one who is washed in the forgiving waters of baptism.

3) See forgiveness as a gift from God. If we don’t ask God for the gift to forgive another, then we can’t receive it. Some folks don’t ask God for the gift to forgive because they’ve so defined themselves by the hurt of the sin against them that they wouldn’t know what to do if the hurt weren’t there anymore. It’s like the Hatfields and McCoys. They couldn’t stop the feud because, if they did, they’d lose their identity as the victim of another’s sin.

4) Forgiveness is about us and not about the other sinner being repentant or not. We should not connect the other’s repentance to our work of forgiveness. Yes, we pray for the amendment of life for the one who has done us wrong, but it’s a spiritually dangerous thing to wait for the other person to repent before we’ll forgive. Honestly, that may never happen. When we hold that in ourselves the event continues to define us. By not linking our forgiveness to other person’s repentance, we remove the capacity they have to keep us fused with the sin. Forgiveness is always about our spiritual practice and not about the actions or inactions of the other.

+Scott

 

Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple. – John 2:15

We’re more accustomed to a different Jesus, aren’t we? The Sunday School image of Jesus as the gentle good shepherd carrying a baby lamb on his shoulders still resonates with us. So when Jesus takes a whip and clears the temple, we’re taken aback. His action doesn’t fit our Sunday School image. But maybe such an image is mistaken? Some believe Christians should never get angry because Jesus never did. Well, he did. There’s nothing wrong with anger when it’s directed toward pursuing justice for God’s children.

We shouldn’t sit idly by while people suffer injustice. In fact, I’d say that if we’re not angered by injustice, then we’re not being faithful to the Gospel. It’s anger with injustice that leads us to confront the sin of racism. It’s anger with state-sponsored vengeance murder that compels us to end capital punishment. It’s anger with our society’s indifference to homeless people that leads us to work for safe housing for everyone. We should be angry when we see God’s creation polluted or God’s people brutalized.

Some of us, however, have adopted an insular spirituality. Pursuing spirituality is very popular these days. People want to become more spiritual. But much of what is called being spiritual” has no basis in the Bible. Biblically speaking, there’s no separation between our spiritual connection to God and our pursuit of justice for God’s people. The Great Commandment sums this up: Jesus says that loving God and loving our neighbor go hand in hand. We can’t love one without also loving the other. And we can’t love our neighbors without seeking justice for them. It’s just not biblically possible.

But that’s what some people do. They’re just interested in their spiritual growth as if such growth can be separated from justice. The Bible claims a wholeness of spirituality and justice, of prayer and action, of contemplation and its inextricable connection to God’s justice. If we wish to be spiritual, we should help a child learn to read. If we wish to be spiritual, we should help a hungry person find the food they need. If we wish to be spiritual, we should rebuke that colleague when he makes a racist or homophobic joke.

Yet, working for justice will be rudderless and random if it’s not grounded in the faith of the Church, for that’s where we learn how to order our lives so we’ll avoid a superficial spirituality or a definition of justice that simply mirrors a political party at prayer.

The pursuit of God’s justice needs to begin with our own self-examination and fearless personal inventory. Before we can point our finger at anybody else, we need to point the finger at ourselves and allow our anger to motivate us to change how we live. We must admit that in some ways we’re no different than the buyers and the sellers Jesus confronted in the temple. When our lives in the Church are turned over by Jesus the same way he turned over the temple tables, then we’ll begin to learn to be the Church. Then we will live holistic lives where our spirituality isn’t disconnected from seeking justice for God’s children.

+Scott

 

During these days (of Lent), therefore, let us add something to the usual measure of our service, such as private prayers and abstinence from food and drink, that each one, of his own free will and with the joy of the Holy Spirit, may offer God something over and above the measure appointed for him. That is to say, let him deny himself some food, drink, sleep, pointless conversation and banter, and look forward to Easter with joy and spiritual longing. Rule of St Benedict 49

Part of a traditional Lenten discipline is to deny ourselves something we usually enjoy during the rest of the year. It’s one way for us to remember gratefully the “great denial” Jesus made on our behalf; for he denied himself and took up the cross for our sake. Benedict’s admonition from his Rule reminds us that we shouldn’t do this out of obligation, but out of our “joy and spiritual longingfor Easter. So, we don’t engage in self-denial to prove anything to our self or to others. We don’t do so to impress God or others. And we certainly don’t do so for the purpose of self-justification, which is always a dangerous path to travel. Benedict reminds us there’s a telos to this Lenten discipline and it is joy, the root of that word being, God (“to enjoy” is literally to be “in God”).

I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to deny myself some things more than others. While I enjoy good food and drink, I don’t miss it much when I don’t have it. I’m pretty pedestrian in my tastes and my palate is hardly that of a gourmand. So, for me to give up chocolate or single malt scotch (of which I’m unworthy anyway) or some other delicacy may appear like an act of self-denial to some, but to me, since I could take it or leave it, it’s hardly what Benedict had in mind. When we make such non-denial denials, it’s for the sake of appearances to others and not for a true Lenten discipline.

But, “pointless conversation and banter” hits me closer to the bone. Denying myself that is much harder. Thus, it’s a more needed act of denial on my part. Maybe more than any other vocation in the Church, a bishop regularly engages in “pointless conversation and banter” whether he or she desires to or not. That’s not to say with we don’t participate in “pointed conversation. Of course we do, hopefully more often than not. But the temptation to deflect or to ignore or to trivialize rather than to get to the heart and truth of the matter is always there. Like with many temptations, such behaviors are a way to run away from one’s true self and the vocation to which I’m called.

Lent then can serve as an invitation for us to get back to the heart and truth of the matter in our lives; to recognize how we might be too serious about the trivial banter in our lives and not be taking seriously enough the people, things, and circumstances of our lives that matter. This is what Benedict meant by stability in the three-fold promise Benedictine monk’s make; that capacity to hang in there when the temptation is to run away from what’s difficult, or to deflect the issue by “pointless conversation,” or to trivialize ourselves or others. Such self-awareness comes as a gift even though it’s often hard to receive. Yet, if we accept the gift for what it is, then we enter into a place where the ground is holy and where we open ourselves daily to the thrust of grace.

+Scott

 

Lent, the Lone Ranger, & Tonto (eCrozier #251)

Growing up I enjoyed watching Looney Tunes, cartoons that had many levels of interpretation. One of the recurring bits the cartoons used was this: a protagonist is faced with a dilemma and he doesn’t know what’s the right thing to do. As he struggles with his choice, a little angel pops up on one shoulder and a little devil pops up on the other. They both try to persuade him. “Do it,” one urges. “Don’t do it,” the other replies. It goes back and forth until the poor protagonist’s head begins to spin rapidly 360 degrees. I also remember Flip Wilson’s TV show where he played a recurring character named Geraldine. Whenever Geraldine did something naughty she’d shout: “the devil made me do it.” It was never Geraldine’s fault. She never had to take responsibility for her own actions. She was always free from guilt. After all, the devil made her do it.

Both of these elements of pop culture give us a distorted view because both treat our agency like we’re toddlers who are incapable of taking responsibility for the choices we make. It’s the evil out there somewhere that’s the real problem. In this view, left to our own devices, we’d always choose the good. With such a presumption, we can absolve ourselves all the while perceiving a world where some people are evil and some are good; and where we group ourselves in with the latter. In such a worldview, there’s no room for self-examination and repentance because evil exists apart from us. But our Christian teaching on sin tells us that’s not right. The capacity to sin and to choose evil is inside each of us. There’s some part of us that is “fallen” like Adam and Eve; that rebels against living under God’s gracious rule. As we seek to follow Jesus, we know full well that we’re still active participants in a rebellion to God’s gracious rule.

We begin Lent this week hearing of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. We can misinterpret this story seeing Jesus inhabiting the role of a Spiritual Lone Ranger battling against temptation. But that’s not what the story says. The Gospel tells us “angels waited on him.” He didn’t go it alone. Occasionally, I’ve gone it alone in the wilderness, even thinking that the wilderness is a safe and attractive place to be alone. But I’m a fool to think that. The Biblical meaning of wilderness isn’t some desert oasis like Palm Springs. No, the Gospel word for wilderness means “a place of terror, a place that destroys.” So, I’m a fool to try it alone. Alone, as a sinner, I’ll consciously or subconsciously opt for death for the wilderness is quite a harsh place.

This is why the Season of Lent is a gift to each of us. Lent helps us recognize the truth about ourselves. Lent helps us name the wilderness in which we live. And in that wilderness, we know that we will struggle to be faithful to God’s call. Yet, the cross that’s placed on our foreheads at our baptisms reminds us of Jesus on whose grace we can always rely. Also at our baptisms, angels surrounded us. Some we could see and some we couldn’t see. And angels still surround us. Many of them are our fellow disciples who are on life’s pilgrimage with us. Count on them and let them count on you.

So, don’t go it alone. Sin is too powerful inside of us. Even The Lone Ranger had TontoWho will be your Tonto this Lent?

+Scott