“When good is seasonable”

A little online pilgrimage:

I was directed to Lent Madness, a bracket system pairing off dear departed brothers and sisters in the faith towards a final four, until one saint stands at the end. I’m in.

Among the twittering guest bloggers at Lent Madness, I followed @penelopepiscopl, whose wonderfully titled blog “One Cannot Have Too Large a Party” included the video below. The art is by illustrator Simon Smith, who also blogs terrifically about his work and art and music and so I love it.

But the great convergence here is Explosions in the Sky, “West Texas.” Because any good Lenten journey, by fingertip to web or by foot to roadmap, leads to Lubbock. I’m fairly sure that George Herbert confirms it in the selection that follows. And happy almost-birthday into heaven, George.

The Pilgrimage
George Herbert

I travell’d on, seeing the hill, where lay
My expectation.
A long it was and weary way.
The gloomy cave of Desperation
I left on th’ one, and on the other side
The rock of Pride.

And so I came to fancy’s meadow strow’d
With many a flower:
Fain would I here have made abode,
But I was quicken’d by my hour.
So to care’s copse I came, and there got through
With much ado.

That led me to the wild of Passion, which
Some call the wold;
A wasted place, but sometimes rich.
Here I was robb’d of all my gold,
Save one good Angell, which a friend had ti’d
Close to my side.

At length I got unto the gladsome hill,
Where lay my hope,
Where lay my heart; and climbing still,
When I had gain’d the brow and top,
A lake of brackish waters on the ground
Was all I found.

With that abash’d and struck with many a sting
Of swarming fears,
I fell, and cry’d, Alas my King!
Can both the way and end be tears?
Yet taking heart I rose, and then perceiv’d
I was deceiv’d:

My hill was further: so I flung away,
Yet heard a crie
Just as I went, None goes that way
And lives: If that be all, said I,
After so foul a journey death is fair,
And but a chair.

May we travel today with Jesus, as the Spirit grows in us what we do not yet know to ask. May we hear the Father who calls us through every desert season, through duty and distraction, beyond failed expectations, to hope on this path of union with the one who made us, knows us, and longs for us.

My title, “when good is seasonable,” is from Herbert’s poem, “Lent.” I like that.


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