Post-Lenten Reflection

Posted by on April 9, 2007 at 6:27 pm.

Considering my blog has been recently dubbed as “boring,” I thought I might provide an update mixed with a little bit of news. I will just say it: this has been one of the most strenuous Lenten times I’ve ever had. I haven’t really blogged much, but I didn’t really have anything worthwhile to offer. No homilies, no amazing holy week quotations from theologians, no obligatory Easter posts; I’ve had a rough time over the past forty days, to say the least. Most of all, I’m thankful that Dave-O is doing okay since his ordeal a few weeks back. He has since written about his experience in detail, and has continued to provide updates. In some ways, the reality of Ash Wednesday did not hit me until that time.

Aside from the uncertainty of that time, what’s made my journey rough is something I do not really care to share on a blog. I will not go into details here, but at the ‘high level’ it has been filled with a lot of depression, anxiety, stress, and a lack of faith in just about anything. People have said nice things — very nice things, in fact — about me in the last few weeks for various things, but even though I might offer a nod of acknowledgment or an under-the-breath “thanks,” I feel people have far overestimated my character.

A few years ago, when I started attending the Church of Nazarene in Mid-City, at the first Maundy Thursday (foot-washing) service that I attended, I never actually went up to sit in the chair to get my feet washed or to wash somebody else’s feet in return. I think there is something right about when Pastor John has mentioned that it is just so easy for people in our culture to give gifts but not to accept them; it’s as if our affluence (or whatever) makes it easy for us to feel good about giving (must be that [capitalistic] “Christmas spirit”! or something), but like Peter, we think our feet shouldn’t be washed and the gift is thus denied. At that first Maundy Thursday service, I was consumed with my unworthiness and could not get past myself. Fast forward to last Thursday. I’ve been so broken by so much of my own sin that I cannot take myself anymore, and I was ready to accept the foot-washing without much hesitation at all. A few years have passed since that first time when I denied it and last week, and I have accepted it since then, but I was always kind of scared out of my wits about it. Last year, it kind of helped that when Nicole Thomas was washing my feet she joked about how utterly minuscule the bowl was to indirectly make fun of my flat size 13’s.

I don’t care to elaborate much further except to say that a lot has happened in the past few months to put me in that state. Resurrection Sunday morning happened, people rejoiced, and I’m still rather hesitant about much in life. I think I would put it that way. It always feels weird to lack precise language to describe how one feels, especially as my current academic training is so focused on such language. I’m also intentionally leaving out details, which might not help, but even if I included all of them — to invoke the aforementioned concept, a prospect rather boring indeed — I still do not think I could be any more precise.

With that out of the way, potentially making this blog less boring, but hopefully not ‘boring’ into your skull like a migraine headache, I do have one pretty exciting update. I found out just a few days ago that the paper I presented at the Belief and Metaphysics conference last September is being included in a published volume in the Veritas series. It should be out around August/September through SCM Press. Conor Cunningham and Peter Candler have been very gracious toward me, and for that, I am thankful and quite humbled.

The end of the semester is now fast upon me, so until the beginning of May or so, I probably will not have much time to continue my thoughts on this blog, but we shall see if the right combination of inspiration and motivation can coalesce before then!