“Too late smart!!”   That was one of my Finnish grandma’s many pithy sayings that summarize life’s harsh truths.    She was neither harsh nor bitter – but she did have some hard-earned wisdom.

What do you call a practitioner of Lenten duties and devotions?   How about a Lentician?   (Lent’ician)     Good enough for me.

For much of my early years I had no idea the word Lent even existed.   Once I began a serious study of history, I could at least have given you a definition.   In my early married years it was scarcely a blip on my mental radar screen.   Something “superstitious” people were worried about.

Then one year, a couple days before Easter Sunday,  I was washing dishes at my kitchen sink, looking out the window.  It was a warm sunny spring day, and the kids would be coming home from school soon and would be playing outside….so then I could concentrate on getting dinner ready for Hubbie….

And while I was washing and thinking,  the light dimmed.  It seemed to dim all over, not just outside.   But of course a small cloud had to have passed over the sun, because I was not “superstitious” and even though the thought came to me that some people call this “Good Friday,”   and check the time and, yes,  it was 3:00 in the afternoon, and the remembrance of this Time, the personal re-entering of this Time is important to some people …  I wasn’t one of them, that year.

I’m glad for that little cloud, if that’s what caused the temporary dimming of light inside my kitchen.    I think it was one of those many tiny baby steps that brought me into the Church….such a lifetime of gentle leading!!!

I became more personally involved in Good Fridays after that,  and then I began to understand the importance of Lent, because you can’t go smack into Good Friday and Easter, just as you are.

I got a little smarter in my “later years”  as Grandma would have recognized.

Each passing Lent my mind grows more and more,  to apprehend even greater significance for this time of year.    I keep saying, I didn’t know!  I didn’t know that before!    Am I ready to “do” Lent right even now because there’s so much I don’t know yet?

I feel so “immature” about this.  Perhaps that’s a sign of maturing?

I feel so dumb about Lent.  Perhaps that’s a sign of getting smart?

Too late smart!!!    That’s oddly encouraging.

At least Grandma thinks it can happen!


Explore posts in the same categories: Finnish heritage, Lent

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