More and more publishers and writers are including “Trigger warnings” atop literature dealing with topics such as abuse, rape, violence and suicide. BBC news (see link above) describes these warnings as so: “Trigger warnings usually takes the form of a sentence or a few words to caution readers about the content which will follow. The author adds a warning in recognition of strong writing or images which could unsettle those with mental health difficulties. They exist so readers can choose whether or not to read any further.”
Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t include a trigger warning at the front of our Bibles or at least in front of certain stories, or seasons such as Lent. I mention Lent because during these next 40 days, we will consider words and stories from the Bible that quite frankly, might make us squirm: Sin, sacrifice, crucifixion, blood, suffering, serpents (read Numbers 21:4-9 if you REALLY want to squirm). Even the word or concept of salvation might make some of us squirm, especially if and when it is defined too narrowly.
That is why I’m suggesting that we move slowly through Lent, using caution. This notion of moving cautiously through Lent came to me while walking through (and sometimes INTO) the glass labyrinth at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
My husband loved the experience of walking through this labyrinth. I on the other hand felt claustrophobic, queasy, and dizzy. It didn’t help that I kept bonking my nose and head on the glass. (Given all the nose smudges on the glass, I was not the only one!)
Similarly, I fully expect that we will hear and experience different emotions and reactions during this upcoming season of Lent. And I fully expect us to bonk our noses and heads (figuratively speaking I hope). Hopefully here and there we will also glimpse the deep, everlasting, eternal Love of God, even if through a glass dimly/smudged (1 Corinthians 13:12). Click the link below to read more about Lent at Rainbow.
Finally, all are invited to an Ash Wednesday Taize Service tomorrow night (February 18) from 5:30-6:15 pm. We will try not to bonk heads as we bow our heads or hold our our hands to receive ashes, an ancient symbol of our mortality, and our being in God’s care in our living, dying and rising. Special thanks to Renee and the senior high youth who safely set fire to the dried palm branches used in last year’s Palm Sunday service. Don’t worry, the ashes will be cooled off in time for our Ash Wednesday service.