Date: March 16
Lectionary Link: https://www.lectionarypage.net/WeekdaysOfLent/WedSecondWeek.html
Contributor: Allison Campbell Jensen
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
my eye is consumed with sorrow,
and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails me because of affliction,
and my bones are consumed.
The Psalms are prayers, mostly, it seems: Prayers of praise, gratitude, or arising from suffering.
We may ask: "Why do we have to suffer? If God loves me, God ought to make everything smooth and easy for me -- and those I care about." Well, it doesn't always work out that way.
Upon reflection and meditation, I recognize that suffering is a part of our life -- maybe even a necessary part. Hard as that is to swallow, like the cod-liver oil my mother and her fraternal twin had to be dosed with, for their health. Yucky stuff. And what about the poor cod!
Later in life, Virginia often preferred to choose the easy way, or to escape with booze. No more icky medicine!
Elizabeth took the less clear path: work hard, ski fast, drink plenty, repeat.
To be clear: Neither twin has had an easy life. (Ma is gone; my aunt will be 92 this year, God willing.)
Brought up by nannies and housekeepers, with cooks to prepare their meals, they did not learn to cook as young women. Each married a promising man and had kids. Then came their divorces and struggles to figure out the money issue, and who would take care of the kids?
Ma went back to school. She taught high school English for decades and was much loved by her students.
Aunt Bebs cobbled together an income working for wealthy people. Painting, putting up wallpaper, watching over elders who just needed a companion to heat up their soup . . ..
Born to privilege, they struggled at times, but ultimately came to a time of acceptance and even joy in their lives. When I look at them, I am amazed at their resilience and proud that they not only survived but, at times, even thrived.
Thanks be to God, for the mercies they experienced! Thank You, God, for all you give us, including help in riding along in this rollercoaster life.