I've always gotten a heavy feel in my stomach on those particular days in Lent when I've accidentally forgotten it's Friday!!! and, say, gone to Five Guys, or grabbed the wrong thing out of the freezer for micro-magic, or whatever ---
even tho yes it falls in the perfectly innocent///honest mistake! category, because --
because I'm pretty darnedy good with the whole Lent business, as far as recognizing it at all, especially at trying to making a concerted effort : ashes, meatless days, maybe some type of special reading or devotional that focuses a soul on the miracle of Easter and what it means in so many countless lives!, that's upcoming!!!
What actually started me thinking about this was, ironically something in another faith practice: the start-up, again, of a Friday night at-home Bible study, where - yes, there is a format -- but really the experts are our own, lived experiences ....and, at the end of the formal study, there is always quite an extensive potluck - YUM!
Last year, as this bunked right into Lent's meatless Fridays, I snacked on things like cheese and crackers, radishes, some sweets ... and I was fine with that! Let's be real: it wasn't so much that I was stepping up for better health, and///or better Lent observance, but that I had untold opportunities to eat meat the rest of the week!
Life has changed; in many aspects, it has become what they call 'a real-life emergency' -- which in real-time means this:
I no longer make any purchase from the meat counter of the supermarket - because I cannot afford it. Instead, my "meat purchases" are reflected in Prego spaghetti sauce with mini-meatballs (when it was 1.99 a jar), frozen ravioli's with meat inside the pockets (again, when it's a sale item of 2.99 or even less - otherwise, it's simply another exercise in 'wistful thinking') , an 88 cent micro-magic cheeseburger pizza .... The few times I've done things like go through McDonald's drive-through for one of there 2 for 1 price hamburger specials, I've felt as excited as a kid skipping out the front door on the afternoon of Halloween with an empty plastic pumpkin!!!
And so, I pondered this and here is what I've come up with: that a place I go to, to alleviate the dark spots in my present life, is offering me another bright spot: free, delicious, hot, FOOD! (including meat)
And so, because this is what I'm seeing "deep down in my heart" (as well as deep down in my stomach) -- I'm going to put a smile on my face (as well as fill my tummy!) with what's offered on these Friday evenings!!!
Last week (pre-Lent), I found a huge stockpot of chili ... now, chili and I don't usually agree -- HOWEVER! This chili had been made also with pasta - AND! - there were several types of incredibly rich and moist cornbreads along the sides :)
How satisfied was I with that, you ask ...??? ....
"Chili and cornbread time!" -- I had two plates!
And then (to try to erase my food insecurity more completely), I got this wicked idea:
(a) I have a winter coat with deep pockets (spoken from the memory of my father, a Depression-survivor partially through a special-made jacket he owned ...)
(b) There's plenty of cornbread left over!
(c) It's only me who is going to be eating this - I'm not asking anyone to 'resign themselves' to eating something that's been shoved in the pockets of my winter coat, after all!
Alas, as I made my way towards what for all intents and purposes for ME! was gold on a plate --
"JEAN! It's so GOOD! to SEE YOU!!!!"
No, no -- the person really was happy to see me, and had no idea what I was about to do ;) ... unfortunately, they threw me off my game enough that it was only when I got back home, that I realized "oh NO! I forgot!!!" --
Ah, but it's almost Friday again :)