Tag Archives: lent

Lent by Sharon Ackerman

light purple rose

The word Lent derives from an Old English word meaning ‘lengthen.’ Or more precisely, it comes from the Middle English word lente which means springtime, which itself descends from the Old English lencten. Of course the forty day period of Lent comes at a time when days are lengthening and a few green tips of flowers are testing the air. It is this time of lightening that enters the liturgical calendar as a season of reflection and forgiveness. As it turns out, reflection and forgiveness are complicated. Friends in recovery from alcoholism tell me they … Continue reading Lent by Sharon Ackerman

The Young Man at the Gym by Martha Woodroof

Photo of inside of church with vaulted ceiling

“I seem to have become an outrage addict,” I say to a young man at the gym. I’ve just glanced at the TV screens mounted on the wall in front of the aerobic equipment. As usual, CNN is in full eek mode, and so—like one of Pavlov’s well-conditioned dogs—I am eeking away. The young man is tall, thirty-ish, with dark, curly, blunt-cut hair. I am tall, seventy-one, with long, greying, ash-brown hair that stays permanently ahoo. We are both serious weight-lifters, albeit his free weights are a lot heavier than my Cybex stacks. “I gave … Continue reading The Young Man at the Gym by Martha Woodroof

Intentional Uselessness


As I begin to write, it is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent for many Christians. I should explain that I am a retired minister and the rhythms of the liturgical calendar still shape many of the things I think about and the ways I think about them. So I beg the indulgence of readers who are not Christian. I mean to write, however, not merely for Christians. Though the language is, at least in part, Christian, my concerns are broader. I trust that will become clear. The beginning of Lent brings … Continue reading Intentional Uselessness