Day 7 (Tuesday)
February 23, 2021
Reflections Questions: What angers you deep in your bones? Where is God in that anger?
Prayer: God of justice, you flipped tables in the temple, and then immediately spoke to people who were eager to listen. We seem to only be able to do one or the other—we can be prophetic or pastoral. We can be angry or be gentle. We can speak or listen. Help us to hold both at the same time. Teach us your ways, so that we too can be agents of change. Amen.
—Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org
Today, like most days, I practice the piano preparing for Sunday’s service. I play the most difficult passages over and over, habituating the tiny muscle movements that go from finger to finger until they become automatic, without thought or struggle. One moment, I’ve got it! And then I go a little faster or become aware of almost anything else, and it falls apart. So, I practice some more, ferreting out any hesitations or errors. And then suddenly, there is a tipping point, a moment of transcendence when my mind and fingers know exactly what to do. The difficult passage is now something new, something light and beautiful and the struggle has ended. I live for those moments. I spend hours making sure those moments will hold up under the pressure of performance. In these strange days the pressure of performance begins with one person 12 feet away, raising his hand up and down, a cue from Bob Claussen on camera 2.
Each day, sometimes in each moment, I practice the difficult passages of my life in this same way. I work to get better, ferreting out false beliefs and inappropriate conditioning. I strive to feel more grounded, more ease. In this challenging time, Bob doesn’t have to be on a live camera to provide any added pressure. These days, simply showing up can be pressure enough. Things go astray. No matter how well practiced I am in acts of kindness, compassion, or tolerance, I misstep, I regress, I even fall apart. Yet again and again I go to a source more powerful than I am to draw me into a better state of equanimity, love and peace. Again and again there is that moment of transcendence when I realize that I am forgiven, and all becomes new. Again and again, I am practicing, and so grateful to be in the safety of all of you who are practicing too. God bless each of us on our Lenten journey.