I’m about to tell you something that will no doubt confirm the sneaking suspicion in your mind that I am a complete ditz.
“He gives grace to the humble.” OK, here we go…
My Confession: I used to think that Ash Wednesday was the anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helen and when I saw people in the grocery store on that day with ash smudged on their foreheads, I thought they were remembering those who perished in that disaster.
How I came to this conclusion must have something to do with an early childhood impressions. The souvenir bottle of Mt. St. Helen’s ash my mother kept on a little shelf above Daddy’s recliner in the living room was my first definition of ‘ash’. Hearing of Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is it not too unnatural to think I would associate it with the souvenir? I raised about as far from the Catholic church as one could be—descended from French Huguenot ancestors and attending non-denominational churches for most of my life. Can I be blamed for my ignorance of liturgy and church history?
I’m so glad my gentle friend, Kris, finally set me straight. I who thought Lent had something to do with a topless mountain in Washington. With exquisite prose and dramatic authenticity, Kris’s book “Holey, Wholly, Holy” introduced me to the idea, purpose, and beauty of the Lenten season.
“Though the season of Lent occurs once a calendar year, the reality is, as Christians, we live the Lenten experience again and again. Daily, we experience the grief that often comes with self-reflection and the recognition of our imperfections, the sorrow of confession, the joy of atonement and the blessings of grace through the resurrection.” –Kris Camealy
This book is not simply an expose on an old church tradition. It’s the story of Kris’ own deeply refining Lenten journey, and a reminder to us of the beauty found in surrender. It has been an inspiration to me to delve deeper into the refining fires that come, trusting that they’re designed by a loving God to bring healing and beauty to my very soul.
“This is a not a time to turn and run, thought that may be our instinct. This is the time to stand still, to listen to what He’s whispering, and to allow Him to strip you of the covers you’ve been hiding under. Trust me when I say you’ve not got anything He hasn’t seen before. Stand in this fire, let Him purify you—this is how He loves us. This is the process of sanctification.”
For me, this exquisitely written book was like a movie that ended too soon, until I remembered that the real story is what will happen when I embrace my own Lenten season. If you have always wondered what the big deal was with Lent, or maybe looking for fresh perspective on a familiar tradition in your life, I highly recommend “Holey, Wholly, Holy”, available in paperback or for your Kindle.
P.S. Lent begins Feb 13th this year. Do you observe Lent? This year will be a first for me!
Kris gave kindly gave me a copy of her book to review; these thoughts are my own, as always. Kris is a personal friend and a fellow member of my mastermind group, as well as a talented story-teller and word weaver. I am so excited to share her first book with you all!