My Lenten Diary: Week 1
Written by McDonald, T. | Date 2nd of March 2021
I feel compelled to write something about my experience this Lent. It has not been like any other Lent and i might struggle to explain. For some reason i have found it difficult to fast as i usually would; nonetheless, i am getting to grips with it. However, as we move deeper into lent i feel more and more lonely, which is an experience i seldom have. Perhaps God wants me to experience loneliness so i can better relate to others who do feel lonely most days.
Throughout my live i have always had company even if i am on my own, i know family are never to far away and that, at least, they exist. Now i feel alone because nearly all my family i grew up with have gone. I have nothing, but Jesus. Is this what it is like to have no one? Could an orphan relate to my experience of loneliness? It must be tough to grow up with no family. I can't imagine what that would feel like. I do, however, wonder what an orphans prayers might sound like. My head is filled with memories of being a young boy and i long to be back in that house with my Dad and my step family.
This Lent, while praying in Church, i saw Jesus and He was suffering just before the crucifixion. He spoke to me and said that He had paid the price for all our sins and that i should tell people about this. His suffering was a direct result of our sin. The image was very vivid and leaves me with a feeling of guilt, but i also feel motivated.
Nonetheless, i still have that feeling of loneliness. I have the peace and quiet that i wanted as a boy, but now i have it i don't want it. I want to hear the sound of a friendly voice. I want to hear the sound of my Nan's voice or my Pop's voice. I want to hear the sound of my Dad's voice, but my world is silent because they are all dead. As a result, any victories i have are meaningless because i have no one to share my success with. I just have Jesus and He is quiet because He has said what He needs to and i have to obey.
All my efforts seem pitiful. Every word i write. Every blog i post. Everything. Pointless. It is like i have entered a desert and i know i have to face the temptations and i have to face them alone. And the temptations come. First, the temptation to break the fast or to not give it my best. I can smell food, a beautiful smell of warm food wafting through the air, but nothing is cooking. Second the temptation to despair. How i could spend time crying endlessly over any number of lost loved ones. How i could just lay down and cry with the despair of knowing that there is no one hear to comfort me, no one even to hear or know of this pain. Instead i continue with my university project in quiet suffering and pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy. This leads back to the first test of food. I could make myself feel better with a burger or a pizza or a big plate of chips or even just a sandwich. However, i can't so i turn to Jesus instead and i hope that He will allow this suffering to pass over me, but i know He won't and i will have to endure it. I then think of His suffering and i feel everything i do is pitiful.
I feel like i am leaving civilization behind and the only comfort i have is to pray, so i do endlessly it seems only stopping to comply with student commitments. As i go deeper into the fast the deeper it feels i have gone into the desert. It is like everything i know and am familiar with is disappearing, getting smaller as i sink into this feeling of helplessness. I am as helpless as a slave and i have that feeling that am waiting to find out what is to become of me. I am truly alone with God. Maybe it is because we are in lockdown, so i am at home and can't go out. Even so, i could watch something, but that feels like breaking the fast so i don't. I am alone with the feeling of loneliness and Jesus is my only comfort.
Please let me know about your experiences because i like it when you do that. If you could like and share this with your friends that would be great. Don't forget to subscribe if you want more.