Anticipatory disenfranchisement

They call it anticipatory grief. The kind of melancholy that accompanies impending loss, though clinically, the phrase is usually reserved for instances of anticipating the death of a loved one. Or maybe it’s disenfranchised grief - a series of responses to a physical or abstract loss that doesn’t have an acknowledged place in society, a void often deeper than death but without a meal train of casseroles or paid bereavement leave from your job. There are no rituals, traditions, or institutions in place for this kind of thing. There is no handbook for this, no seminary class or manual. We truly are in reaction mode. Like the early church, we can’t look to those who have already navigated thes

The Wilderness of Lent

The wilderness can be a very scary place. It is a destination that busy people try to avoid. Interestingly, the rhythm of our liturgical calendar has a way of driving us into the wilderness on a reoccurring basis. My own wilderness adventure happened several years ago while driving across a beautiful stretch of interstate running through the western slope of the Appalachian Mountains. In my eagerness to get home I foolishly began my cross-country jaunt without making any lodging reservations -- not a wise move during a Memorial Day weekend. To complicate matters, the state park that I had hoped to spend the night in was full. Sensing my frustration, or perhaps realizing that I wasn’t going t