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BEACON Senior News

Let’s give it up for Lent!

Mar 03, 2020 12:37PM ● By Lynn Walker Gendusa

What would you give up for 40 days?

Easter is coming, and by the time it gets here my church is going to receive a rather large donation of cash!

I am a southern Methodist girl who wasn’t raised believing it was a law that I must fast or make a sacrifice for Lent. However, years ago, I thought the Lenten season was a great way to show my appreciation to the Lord.

I gave up dark chocolate one year, and it nearly killed me! By the time Easter Sunday arrived, most of the chocolate bunnies in the south had been consumed by the out-of-control mother who was stealing them out of the kids’ Easter baskets.

My daughter, who moved to Seattle to be close to Starbucks, decided to give up her beloved java for Lent. After 40 days of headaches, grumpiness, and falling asleep during business meetings, she decided never to give up the dark, soothing magic of coffee again.

I have foregone sugar, fried foods and a host of other goodies for Lent in my lifetime of loving the Lord, but none have been as difficult as this one. Nope, not even dark chocolate.

I live with an Italian/New Orleans husband who would never—and I do mean ever—give up food for anybody. So I didn’t suggest it at all.

Instead, I came up with an ingenious plan. Since both of us have a terrible habit of saying some non-printable words out of frustration, we would vow not to use them for 40 days and beyond. If we slipped up, we put money in a jar to give to church on Easter Sunday. Surely this would be pleasing to God and hopefully not as difficult as giving up Easter bunnies or pizza.

Well, unfortunately, we now have no money to buy a chocolate Easter bunny or a pizza! The jar was soon replaced with a bucket. I can almost hear the sound of the Lord’s laughter with each dollar stuffed into His bucket.

Lent memories

I have to laugh, too, when I think of some of the tales surrounding those non-printable, blankety-blank-blank words. The story of my 3-year-old brother, John, whose beloved grandfather had just finished building him a sandbox is particularly priceless.

Granddaddy was a tall, handsome, and godly man who taught Sunday school and was a Baptist deacon. He was watching John play in his new sandbox, when my brother couldn’t make the sand form what he envisioned and said, “Well, da--!”

“What did you say, John?” my grandfather asked in disbelief.

“Granddaddy, can’t you hear?! I said, WELL, DA--!”

“Where did you hear such a word?” he asked.

“From my daddy!” the 3-year-old honestly and proudly shouted.

And, just like that, the last time John saw his new sandbox for many days was as his granddaddy was hauling him into the house to wash his mouth out with the Ivory bar. He then delivered my daddy a fire-and-brimstone sermon my father recalled for the next 50 years.

By the time these 40 days have passed, hopefully our foul words will be forever gone and Granddaddy can rest in peace as I learn to no longer steal chocolate bunnies. The whole idea of Lent is to give up, give in, and grow for the love of the Lord. He endured 40 days in a barren wilderness tempted by Satan and survived only to return to give His life for us.

Giving up chocolate bunnies, pizza, coffee, expletives and a bucket full of money is the least we can do for Him.