Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Learning About Lent

Lent is generally thought of as a time for giving up something to cultivate a deeper faith. I was raised Baptist and as Baptists we thought the orthodox got off easy. We gave up stuff all the time, not just during a special season like Lent. We gave up things like, dancing, playing cards and consuming alcohol. I once crossed the line by painting my nails. FOR SHAME DECADENT!!!!! I would paint my nails while riding to school on the bus and try to remove the polish while riding back home on the bus. I actually took a straight razor once and tried to shave the polish off my nails since I wasn't up on acetone. My life was very sheltered.
I could never see Lent working with Baptists. Food. It's about the food. Imagine a Baptist being asked to give up his food. "You mean I have to give up Tuna Supreme Casserole with Crunchy Cornflake Topping?" I suspect the fallout wouldn't be any prettier than what happens to Baptists during the annual budget meeting. Shrove Tuesday didn't even enter our thinking, except for the unusually high number of Pancake Suppers being announced on the radio. I just assumed it was the farmers getting a little bored with winter, since pancakes were always served at farm meetings too.
I likewise had no idea what Ash Wednesday was. Once in high school, I helpfully told a boy, "You have a black smudge on your forehead." He just blankly looked at me, which I thought was typical for him anyway. Idiot. Then I noticed his sisters all had black smudges on their foreheads too. Wierd family. And then I noticed a few other kids with black smudges on their foreheads. Conspiracy. And then I found out that they all actually got to miss the first few classes to go to church and have those smudges placed on their foreheads. Ha! Convert.

(The first photo is the marsh boardwalk at Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Canada. The second photo just happened - well, a whole food fight could occur over that remark. Another time. I was reading and allowing my thoughts to wander pondering how to illustrate this post, when I looked down and saw "Lessons of Life." Ha! Again.)


Confusifying Linguification said...

I always forget about the black smudge - today I almost offered a few patients a Kleenex so that they could wipe their forehead . . .

Confusifying Linguification said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard D said...

You have just described my upbringing and my thoughts about Lent as I began to find out about it. And you're so right about Baptists and their food. Everything seems to be arranged around food consumption. I guess we're all getting ready for the wedding feast of the Lamb. Maybe it would be good to show up for that feast without already being full though.

I love your first picture in this post. Absolutely gorgeous.

Patricia said...


I cut my teeth in a liturgical church framed in liberal theology, but I embrace reformed (Calvinism) theology today. I attend a Southern Baptist Church, and contrary to others in that congregation, Lent is, as you read, an important season in my personal and family devotional life. Though it might appear that I'm confused, the bottom line is that I love Jesus, I love the Body of Christ - His Church, and I hunger and thirst for whatever will bring me more of Him.

Your blue snow photos are gorgeous!!!!

Decadent Housewife said...

Don't think you're confused at all. You're right, it's about Christ.

Don't suppose you have a Bapt. SS pin too? I took the bars off and use it for a bookmark.

Leila said...

Well, I'm not Baptist (obviously), nor was I raised as one, but for me, it certainly IS all about the food (obviously:).

Your Tuna Supreme thing is pretty funny.

But I guess that's why Lent grabs me -- it really needs to be all about a little more than that :)

This post helps me understand a little more of the other ones (about legalism).

Where I stand, it's all about "the glorious freedom of the Children of God"...and willingly following Him...into the the prepare...for the Feast...okay, I'll stop now :)

Leila said...

No, I won't...

...and the battle is in our hearts, which are so attached to stuff like...casseroles.

Now I'm done. For now :)

Decadent Housewife said...


The religious circles I have been involved in, needlessly felt guilty about a lot. You'll find clues and references, when appropriate, to my experiences and observations regarding that, throughout my writing, just like my other life experiences. My purpose however isn't to dwell on it. Some things just come up, that's all.

You are bang on, "its' about the glorious freedom of the Children of God"...and willingly following Christ..."the battle is in our hearts."