March 23, 2022
Yesterday morning I stepped out on the deck and breathed deeply. It was a beautiful, sun shining morning, and where I stood it was protected from the wind so it felt (and looked) quite warm. Out on the road for the afternoon dog walk, however, it was quite chilly. In the morning I was thinking “spring has sprung!” In the afternoon I was thinking “nope, still wintery.” It occurred to me that we’re in that awkward and unpredictable time that’s in-between winter and spring.
We’re in-between in a lot of things right now. Some of them are good, and some of them are very challenging. A good one is that we’re back to in-person worship, and we’re committed to online excellence, but we’re in-between having all the tech and the know-how to make it all great. A new second camera is on the way which will open up many possibilities for us, once we learn how to use it. But for now we’re in-between what we want to be able to do and what we can do.
As pandemic safety mandates start to be relaxed we find ourselves in-between desperately wanting to tear off our masks and hug everyone we see, and being wisely cautious about going too quickly without sufficient scientific assurance that it’s safe, and dreading the idea that we might cause yet another wave of illness, or even be infected ourselves, or infect a vulnerable person.
And, of course, here in the middle of the Season of Lent we find ourselves in-between the energized newness of starting a journey and the looming angst of Holy Week and the cross. Not to mention the personal reflecting that Lent invites us into and the stuff that stirs up. When we do that inner work we see how we’re in-between in our being. Like the coming of spring we’re in that awkward and unpredictable time in-between being the person of faith we aspire to be, and falling disappointingly short of the mark. Truth be told, humans are probably always in that state of in-between-ness, but I wonder if in Lent we might notice it more.
The thing about in-between-ness is it always feels unresolved, unsettled, and often unsatisfying. The way through in-between-ness is to try to find peace in the moment, joy in the wondering, and hope in the possibilities that are on the cusp of emerging. It helps to remember that you are not alone! A season of in-between-ness is a season of becoming. It’s rich, and liminal, and transformational – but in-between-ness ain’t easy. Shalom as you squirm friends!