Last week was Forgiveness Sunday for us. Around the world each Orthodox Church acknowledges the fact that a person's sin affects the whole Church, much like a splinter, small as it may be, affects the whole body. It is very humbling and can be made even moreso if you happen to have a son like mine.
It is almost an out of body experience sometimes being the mother of an impulse control challenged child. As the rest of the church soberly goes to each member, crosses themselves and says "forgive me, a sinner", my son tells each member this whole business is disgusting and to "move on...turn the page". I'm left looking helplessly at each face and feel compelled not only to ask them to forgive me but to forgive my son as well. While it is true most of the young, especially the boys, cringe at the thought of touching, let alone hugging, an adult they are usually a lot less verbal than my son.
So what is my challenge this Lent? To humble myself. To train my children and let go of the embarrassment that often comes with being the parent of an...um...exhuberant child. To serve more and speak less. To honor the Lord with my time. To let go of my ideals and carry whatever cross the Lord has for me, not the extra crosses I stack on my own back.
I do look forward to this Lenten season. And though it was a challenge to go through forgiveness Sunday with my youngest one, I was blessed to see my eldest son embrace this time and humbled by God's great mercy for us all!
Have a blessed Lent and may we see the lessons of Love God gives us through our greatest challenges