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Fifty-Six Small Suggestions for the Season of Lent

I came across this list a few years ago, though I don’t remember exactly where. It apparently comes from a denominational tradition with which I am less familiar, as evidenced by some of the terms and local names, but I get the spirit of the items, and I think you will too.

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1. Oh, it’s Lent, and you know you’re supposed to do it, so do it. Give up chocolate. No chocolate until Easter. Think how that chocolate bunny will taste that day. 2. Like the Kingdom, turn the values upside down, and take up chocolate for Lent. One piece a day. But only one. When you want more, give thanks, for now you have been found worthy of the struggle. 3. That person you have meant to call, call them. 4. That person you have meant to write, write to them. 5. That person you have meant to apologize to, apologize to them. 6. Turn off the lights in the house when the sun sets, and watch the soft darkness come. 7. Get up one half-hour earlier and read a devotional each day. 8. Stop every time you are about to go through a door and make the Sign of the Cross, for Our Lord said “I am the door.” 9. Come to a Sunday service you don’t usually come to, and introduce yourself as a visitor would. See what happens. 10. Sit in a different place in church. 11. Come sit in the sanctuary on a weekday afternoon and watch the light in the stained glass windows. 12. Talk to somebody you don’t know on Sunday morning. 13. Get in the slowest or longest line in the store and give thanks for the chance to wait. 14. Find a tree and say a prayer for it each day, waiting for spring. 15. That thing, that activity you know you should stop, stop. 16. Every Thursday evening, stop, light a candle, and slowly tear a piece of bread in two. 17. Spend one night in the rescue mission. 18. Eat at the Stone Soup café. 19. Sit in the emergency room lobby and say a prayer for everyone who walks by. 20. Go for a walk. 21. Turn off your cell phone. 22. Go to Denali Center or the Pioneer Home and find somebody sitting by themselves. Sit with them. 23. Ride the city bus and see where you go. 24. Go to school one Sunday in a different church. 25. Find a lay Eucharist minister and go with them when they visit. 26. Send a thank you note to someone each week. 27. Don’t use the “close door” button on the elevator; it will close anyway. 28. Open the bible and read the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the day of the month. 29. Turn off the television. Especially when THAT show is on. 30. Write on your calendar one good thing that happens each day. 31. Ask if you can serve during the service by greeting, reading scripture, or taking the offering. 32. Come back on Sunday afternoon and clean the church. 33. Find an open AA meeting and stop in. 34. Fast, meaning “stop eating before you are full.” Discover it is possible to control desire. 35. Watch one [sled] dog race, and notice how focused and excited the teams are. 36. Go visit grandmothers and ask them to tell you a story. 37. Find one person you are taking for granted and say “thank you” to them. 38. Buy/find one nail and carry it in your purse or pocket. Bring it to church on Good Friday. 39. One meal a week, join the rest of the world and have only several spoonfuls or rice. 40. Invite someone over to visit you and have a cup of coffee or tea. 41. Go visit that person you haven’t seen in a long time. 42. Find a rope or string and tie it in one hundred knots. Now pray “thank you” one hundred times each day. 43. Kneel beside your bed and say prayers each night. 44. Call the church office and ask, “What can I do to help?” 45. Don’t do one think that you should do. 46. Deactivate your Facebook account. Just until Easter. 47. Try learning an instrument, a new language, or a new skill. Remind yourself how hard it is to learn something new. 48. Avoid the internet for a day. 49. Tell your best friend that they are. 50. Sing something outside your door each morning to greet the new day. 51. Go look at the infants in the maternity ward of the hospital, and think about you being that size; think about God being that vulnerable. 52. Bessie Barnabas used to walk to St. Matthew’s from Salcha; walk to church one morning. 53. Turn off the computer, turn off the television, turn off the radio, turn off the music, turn off the cell phone and sit there. Listen to your breathing. 54. Make a small campfire, make campfire tea, and sit outside to drink it. 55. Go sledding down a hill. 56. Come by the church one night when it is dark, and kneel on the choir steps when there are no lights on in the church. Notice how the halo around the icon glows in the dark. Notice how the altar cross shines in the dark. Notice the flames of fire in the cross. Notice how they are blood red. Wonder at what cost the “I love you” from God is given to You. Realize you have had to do nothing to earn it. It is, as all true love, a gift. 

Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 10:47AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

Thank you for posting this, Brian. It's truly lovely. If memory serves, you were still in Fort Yukon and traveled once to visit another village / school in the district and the older gentleman who worked there (or at the nearby church) shared this with you...I believe. Anyway, thanks for posting it again. Lovely.
March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMom
Thank you for sharing. I missed this during the Lent season so I hope I remember to find it next year. I really liked some of the ideas. I found your blog because of the poo story. Oh, my! I thought mine was bad, but you win... I found Deborah in her crib with poo spread all over the wall and one side of her crib... Blech!
July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

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