Cramped Hands, Receptive Hands

When I lived in Uganda, my housemates and I would take turns shopping at the local market.  For this task, we took a backpack and two large bags with handles, one for each hand.  When the bags were full, we returned home.

When I would walk in our front door, my hands would be cramped around the bag handles and I had to rest a minute so that they were fully functional again.

For me, this is an apt metaphor for Lent.  Often, I grip life so hard, believe in my own strength so much, that my interior life cramps and I am unable to receive the grace in front of me.  The “work,” then, remains relaxing into a receptive stance.