It Is Well With My Soul: March 2, 2022 (Ash Wednesday)

It Is Well With My Soul

“…but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities…” – 2 Corinthians 6:4

How is my faith holding together, you ask?

Over the past two years, like St. Paul, I have endured “troubles, hardships, and distresses.” I am not the person I was two years ago, for good or for ill. It has been a most trying time, filled with internal and external anxiety.

With the rest of the world, I watched the beating of George Floyd in horror as he called out to his mother. I raged at the killing of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. I made signs and marched—and have been flipped off and yelled at doing so, common decency a fleeting trait in the U.S. today.

I’ve spent sleepless nights worrying over COVID and politics and climate change and what kind of a world we are leaving our grandchildren. And then our grandchildren got COVID.

I’ve received disheartening medical news, been slandered by an old friend, and been criticized for my writing.

Sorrowful, shattered, fragmented, crushed? Yes. More than once, and on different levels.

Yet, no matter what I’ve endured, have I been always rejoicing, as Paul exhorts us to do in this passage?

Here I fall far, far short.

Last week, at St. Philip’s in the Hills in Tucson, Mother Taylor Devine reminded us of this fact. Throughout hardship, we must seek joy, she said. The unfurling of a flower, the sun’s rays on the mountain, a cool glass of water. However small, seek it.

St. Paul says though we may have (or think or feel that we may have) nothing, we yet possess everything in Christ. This is the kernel of truth I cling to as we enter Lent together.

How is your faith holding up?

Dear Lord, be with us day and night, shore us up, remind us to seek joy amid suffering. Amen.
-Ashley Sweeney