Pathways through Lent

Hold It

Psalm 95 Genesis 47:1–261 Corinthians 9:16–27 Mark 6:47–56

I hold grudges. Most of us do; it’s only human. How rude that salesperson was! How could
my coworker say that? How dare that driver cut me off? (I think everyone
who drives in D.C. can empathize with me on that last one.)
When I feel wronged, my innate sense of righteousness—of justice—is
tweaked. It’s almost as if a jarring chord within me has been struck, and I have
to wince at the dissonance. Without a means to right the wrong, I hold on to
that dissonance.
Holding on to it, though, turns it to frustration. Frustration turns it to anger
that can consume my thoughts and color my behavior. And that anger takes
energy. At times I actually feel physically drained—as if my body is not built
to bear my grudges.
This Lent, like every Lent, is an opportunity. This year, I will give up those
grudges. I will endeavor to forgive slights and offenses, especially those that
cannot be remedied. I will acknowledge my frustration, but I will also let it go.
Robert Frost once said that “nothing can make injustice just except mercy.”
There is perhaps no better season to practice mercy, I think, because I know at
the end of the 40 days that we will receive the greatest mercy of all. And that,
more than any grudge, is worth holding on to.
–Leah Proffitt


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