When I was a little girl, I’ve heard that during Lent, particularly on Good Friday, we’re not supposed to handle “dangerous” objects, such as scissors and even nail clippers, as the Lord is dead and, thus, unable to oversee the world. Back then, I had thought, “If anything bad happens to me, that should serve me right. I’m sinful. I stole from our passenger jeepneys’ daily collection to buy stationery, the scented ones. Therefore, I killed Jesus.” I also recall how some people didn’t bathe on Good Friday as a form of repentance and self-denial. Growing up, I’ve always looked at Lent with the same guilt-ridden eyes.
Forward to 2006, and thank God! I came to understand that true repentance is marked only by a changed life, and that Lent is not a time for me to be somber. On the contrary, it should be a time of gratitude.
- I am grateful that Jesus died only once to take away the sins of many;
- I am grateful that when He died, he took away all the sicknesses and the curses against me; and
- I am grateful that all my hurts, no matter how trivial, are opportunities to partake in Jesus’ suffering AND VICTORY.
Yes, I can take a bath on Good Friday and not be guilty about it. This year, I’m observing the Lenten Season the best way I can… declutter, declutter, DECLUTTER. I’m letting go of excess baggage: old grudges, the should-haves, and the list of unforgivens. Where to begin is usually the tough part. I think that in order to develop an appreciation for freedom, one must try cleaning out one’s closet. So that’s where I’m starting (and I’m a girl!). Then, I’ll see what I can do with the bookshelf.