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"My God, my God; why have you abandoned me?"

Palm Sunday - artist William Hemmerling
This is the mournful refrain of today's psalm, one that will echo through Good Friday. We are a people bereft, wondering how it is that Jesus is not only taken from us, but murdered. If that is not abandonment, what is?

Clearly, I've been away from blogging this Lent. There are a few reasons. First, I'm unemployed (again.) This time, it seemed like a matter of life or death. Every day, wracked with stress, going into a job for which I was totally ill-suited, I thought, "Is this the day I'll have a heart attack?"

If that wasn't enough, we have to move. Our current apartment complex decided to not renew our lease. I reacted as if it were a death (anger, denial, bargaining, etc.) And I was good and angry at God. Once again, I believed I'd followed the rules, and I got punished anyway. What good is friendship with God if you don't benefit from it?

I stopped making Lenten plans many years ago. It became obvious that God always had other plans anyway, so now I simply tell God: "Whatever. This is your Lent to plan, not mine." And yes, I often regret this prayer. I'd much rather give up chocolate and be done with it.

Now, it's Holy Week. My Lent has not been very edifying spiritually. We've been packing, looking at scads of places to live, figuring out budgets, pros and cons of every place we've looked at. Mostly, I've spent this Lent in a constant state of panic, wondering where we'll be living.

As it turns out, we found a place. Yesterday (God likes to keep us hopping til the last minute.)

I did not spend this Lent doing spiritual reading, going to daily Mass, or finding small ways to sacrifice. I spent my Lent yelling at God: Where ARE you? Why are you not here with us? Why have you abandoned us??

In essence, I've spent my Lent doing exactly what Christ is doing during Holy Week. He's been let-down by friends, handed over to the Roman government by His own people, and executed for nothing that He'd done. His cry is the same as mine: "God, where are you?? You promised You'd never leave me!" Which, when you think about it, isn't such a bad way to spend one's Lent. It just isn't an easy way.

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