Ashes to Ashes | Forum for Theological Exploration

Ashes to Ashes

By: Kathy Lee
March 18, 2011

This piece is reposted. The original blog post can be found here.

As the world now knows, I am a half-asser when it comes to committing to New Year’s resolutions. Sorry, blog, long time no see. To redeem myself before you and God, I am taking the opportunity to take up a Lenten discipline for the next 40 days.

Since I have already removed all habits, relationships and selfish desires that hinder me from being a perfect Christian (complete lie, of course), I thought it would be nice to do something not so intrinsically internal and self-oriented. As much as I love depriving myself of coffee each year, I think it’s time to go a different route. And let’s be honest, coffee brings me closer to God every day when I am so thankful for its deliciousness.

Of course, my Lenten discipline is far from original. In fact, I stole the idea after hearing it from someone last November. BUT I will venture forth and commit for the next 40 days to… writing a letter to the people in my life for whom I am thankful for and have been meaning to keep in touch with, but for many, many lame excuses have let the pages of the daily Far Side calendar get torn and tossed in the trash before I’ve had a chance to say, “Hello, again.”

For someone who is religious but spiritual, I do hope this practice helps me to remain committed and connected to the wonderful people that have been in my life. From old friends who have witnessed the growing pains of 4th grade through the very present and to mentors who gave me a glimpse of my true potential, their presence in my life have changed me for the better (to quote the award winning musical, Wicked). Even the solitude lover in me recognizes the value and necessity of meaningful relationships.

I know what you’re thinking, “But Kathy, according to facebook, you have relationships with 700 people.” Sure, hitting the “like” button to a facebook status or photo shows I am stalkishly following people’s lives via social media. But what lasting impact does that make? I believe most people would enjoy a hand-written letter personalized with ink that for a few moments were intended solely for that one person and no one else in the world. I hope the 40 people I chose do. If not, well whatever. I tried.

Come to think of it, are there 40 people that I know well enough to write to??? In case I don’t, and you would like a letter, please let me know your name and mailing address and you may be getting a nice note from me in the next two months!

So maybe this isn’t so different from what other people are giving up for Lent. The truth is that I love paper. I love pretty cards and stationary. I love buying pretty cards and stationary. It may be a problem and writing 40 letters will help me purge of the collection I have amassed of paper. There I said it, this is all very selfishly motivated. Please pray for my soul…

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust that’s what has become of our love and trust Love has no direction ‘Cause love has no aim love can leave you as fast as she came

ben harper


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