In this small room you will find a dog’s blanket, oil in a jar for prayers of healing, poems and journals, books and bibles, a candle and communion cup made of wood.
On the wall are photographs of folk no longer here, whom to rest your eye on is to meet their absence once more. I keep on the bookcase memento’s my children made when they were small.
A chair is showing it’s age, and you can’t sit on it for clutter. The rug beneath needs a good run over with the hoover. On the desk, pliers sit beside a hymnal and cup of cold coffee, there are scissors and a sock wrestled from my dogs chops. On the opposite side of the room, blue tacked to wall, the pictures my youngest daughter painted for me. The Icons look on it all.
This room is like a sacrament of my soul: the invisible made visible.
Living together in the same room are the precious and the throw away, the untidy and the holy, what is needing cleaned up or put away, what is not here and what keeps me going.
Lent comes from an ancient English word that means spring time. When I was wee, my mother would set about the house at spring time with polish and duster, mop and hoover. I enjoyed helping out, took pleasure in everything feeling fresh and clean again.
It’s not just the wee study that needs a spring clean. It’s also my soul. How about you?
Is that not what lent invites us into:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace and simply be.Come and find the quiet center, Shirley Murray