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Saturday, April 15, 2006


The moment my phone rang in the middle of the Passion of the Christ, I thought my heart would stop. It was two years ago, in the theater, when The Passion had just opened. You can imagine how mortified I was as I curled over in my seat thrashing through my purse to silence that blasted ringing! If I remember correctly, it went off while Jim Caviezel was dragging the cross up to Golgatha, his bloody feet pulling over the cobblestones, his mother Mary poised, tears streaking down her dirty cheeks in slow motion.

I remember those shots like works of art, reminiscent of Rembrant with their brown and gold tones and the angle of Jesus' body. It was in the midst of these gorgeous shots that my ringtone beep bop be duh be dohed its way into the cavarness theater and then tumbled along to a salsa beat. That year I gave up movies for Lent.

I have been thinking about Lent at the end of this Holy Week. I've been thinking about Good Friday and this dark Saturday that rests between death and Easter. What is it about? I ask myself, imagining the questions of friends. Why do you give things up? And the answer that comes from the back of my mind is: it's about disruption. It's about breaking the chaos of our lives that has settled into routine. It's about reaching backwards, brushing past thousands of years of tradition.

I imagine Lent is discomfort for the purpose of shaking free. For the ability to hold the scope of pain and sacrifice, time and worship in a single moment of no.


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