Jules and I were never the best at getting to Church on Sundays. But, it was always there, just down the street-always waiting with open arms when our souls hungered for comfort. I felt its absence many times last year- missing it when I felt far away, when my faith needed nurturing, and on holidays, especially Easter.
We were in Athens last year for Easter where they celebrate the Greek Orthodox Easter on a different date. We ate McDonald's that night. The first American food we had eaten since leaving in January. It was the best meal we could have chosen really. It tasted like home and that night we were missing it dearly-our annual potluck, our friends, deviled eggs, our house full of people, our yard filled with flowers in bloom and our church.
We’ll be in Costa Rica this year for Easter or maybe a neighboring country. I’m certain we won’t be able to find anything but Catholic churches and the sermons certainly won’t be in English.
Although I know my chances of attending church this Easter are slim or maybe because I know my chances of attending church at all this year are slim, I’ve decided to observe Lent for the first time.
My great-grandfather was a Lutheran preacher (and a truly amazing man) but, mostly retired by the time I was 7. My childhood was dotted with visits both to his church, the Southern Baptist’s of my family or friends and the Church of God of my cousin’s family. Although Lutherans generally practice Lent, I never did.
The concept of voluntarily self-denial offered up in prayer is probably one of the oldest forms of worship and practiced in some form or another in the majority of religions- a constant reminder of your devotion, of your faith and your gratitude to your higher power.
I need the reminder. I need to feel a stronger connection to my faith. I need to show my gratitude for all my many blessings.
So…see ya, fried foods. We’ll meet again April 4th.
Update- I started this blog yesterday on Ash Wednesday but didn’t get it posted. We met friends for dinner last night at Serpas and *hello* right off the bat I was challenged. Flash fried oysters with pickled chilies- nope. Crispy duck rolls- nope. Even when I ordered the tuna tartar I was met with a plate full of fried chips. I wanted a constant reminder and it looks like, at least while we’re in the South, that is exactly what I’m going to get. Thanks be to God.