2nd day of Lent

This is the second day of Lent, the second day of our Lenten practice of reciting Mark 12: 29-31:

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And the second is this, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment than these.

I must say, this is not going well. Oh, I’ve got the words memorized, and I am saying them to myself frequently, but usually too late. Take the phone call this morning: annoyance with the woman on the phone on her way from somewhere to a new somewhere, wanting rent money. No? Well what about a grocery gift card, and when will it be available, and she’ll call me Monday for it. My radar says she’s working the system, and in my head I label her and end the call with some empty words. Do people think churches are banks?

And then the words come floating back. Neighbor. Love as yourself. Yes, human to human, not gatekeeper to gatecrasher. Even with no money, love would have engaged in conversation, asked what gives her hope.

I have tomorrow.