Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kaitlin: In this Together

Kaitlin Torgerson, Earth Ministry Outreach Coordinator

After a few days of long showers, deviled eggs, milk chocolate, and more frequent flushing, the novelty has worn off. It’s not as good as I remember, and I really don’t miss it. I’ve discovered I can certainly live without these little extras.

This journey through Lent has taken me on a different route than the years previous. Besides being in a new state and attending a different church, Lent held a weight that I had never felt before. I’d given up things for Lent in the past, but I’d always seen it as a challenge. I’m embarrassed to say that I’d turned it into a game of how long can I survive without some item. Easter morning would come, and I’d act as if Lent had never happened.

I’ve learned much this Lent, some of which I’m still understanding. First and foremost, I now know that showers can indeed be short and still enjoyable. It seems a bit silly, but I guess I needed some intervention which came in the form of Lent. Easter morning my shower was a little longer, but I plan to keep the short shower routine. Today, I got a shower timer from Seattle Climate Action Now. Available at Neighborhood Service Centers, these little gadgets suction to the shower and measure 5 minutes.

Another important lesson for this Lent was realizing the need for community, especially a community in Christ. My whole Lutheran Volunteer Corps house decided to try to eat vegan for these 40 days. The only times we ever struggled was when we weren’t with one another such as going out with other friends. Between cooking vegan meals for each other or having Lenten reflections at the vegan Flying Apron Bakery, the support we found in each other was incredible. I also found community in the Earth Ministry offices. Through blogging and talking amongst ourselves here, I was able to get advice and find the support I needed that sustained me throughout.

Lent created a dialogue with my family, housemates, friends, coworkers, and church members that has been invaluable. I was reminded daily of my commitment to care for creation. I saw the connection between Christ’s suffering and the pain I create for others through my poor choices. And with my mistakes, I learned a little more about grace.

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