Purple is the New Black

Weeping, fasting, wailing, gnashing of teeth… somebody remind me why we look forward to this time of year?

To be honest, I think we’re all dying to be a little emo. To lay it all out, recognize how miserable we feel sometimes, and acknowledge that it’s sort of for good reason. We kind of suck most of the time.

So go ahead, Church! Get all punk goth and emo, because this is the time to do it. But the caveat is that you know the best is yet to come — we’re moving towards Easter, afterall. So don’t get crazy. You’ve still got to wear a smile, make people happy, and bring joy to others… but with a little sting of sorrow that the cost of our joy meant the death of our Beloved.

He has already risen! He has conquered death. The night is banished, the darkness dispelled. We look to the Resurrection and anticipate the celebration that is coming. But for the next few weeks, we embrace this opportunity to mourn our sinfulness; to cry out to God from the depths of our poverty.

I’ve always struggled with the idea of telling people what I’m doing for Lent, because I do see the beauty in keeping it between me and the Lord. However, I had to make a couple things public for the sake of my commitment. The rest of it, and the details, I’ll keep to myself. Here’s what I’m up to:

  • First, I’m fasting from makeup. It’s weird so far, but I have a feeling there’s a lot to be revealed (ha) in such a simple gesture. That’s what it’s about right? Not big crazy things, but the small things that bring us closer to the heart of the Father? I’m quickly realizing it’s not really about makeup at all… it’s about being human and being real.

    If you’re interested in joining me or following how it goes, you can find the blog here: Holy Complexion.

  • Second, I posted on facebook that I want to really dive into intercessory prayer. I feel like I need to rediscover its power and purpose… so I encouraged facebook friends to “like” my status if they would like me to offer up a day of Lent for them. I was completely overwhelmed by the response!! I heard from people that I haven’t talked to in YEARS. People who I haven’t interacted with in ages. People I never expected to want prayer, much less from me! And people that I never would have chosen to pray for if I had made my own list. It was absolutely humbling.

    I had more responses than I could have anticipated, so I am extending it until Ascension Thursday. I’m sure it will be good… just a little overwhelming. I’m not sure I’ve ever committed to something that feels so big. I made a Google calendar with each person’s name and any prayer intentions that they messaged me. It syncs with my phone so I’ll have it with me. I didn’t assign anyone to Sundays or the Triduum.

That’s about all the details… there are certain other things I’m going to try to do, but it’s really about remembering that I’m not alone on this path to holiness. It’s not about me and God — it’s about all of us seeking Him, and His pursuit of all of us. Time to recognize His love for everyone around me instead of focusing on myself, my faults, and my vanity.

Anyway, I’m expecting Lent to be perfectly difficult and blessed. And I hope yours is too!

Freedom.

“The 2012 [Valentine’s Day] holiday is expected to generate $17.6 billion in retail sales in the United States.”*

There are 27 million people in slavery around the world right now.
Each slave costs an estimated $90-300.
It would cost around $8 billion to buy freedom for all those people, not even half of what will be spent on Valentine’s Day in the United States ALONE.
We would have nearly $10 billion left for rehabilitation of those enslaved and prosecution of those who commit this crime against humanity.

Wow. If we can spend that kind of money showing each other how much we love each other… do you think we could do a little to show solidarity for people we don’t even know?

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Money won’t fix this problem. Buying freedom and persecuting criminals isn’t as black and white as the numbers. But where we put our money shows where our priorities lie: ourselves.

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What can you do? What MUST you do?

  • Pressure your governmental representatives. Write, petition, demand that this be an issue that gets attention.
  • Pressure companies who may use materials produced by slave labor. Question possible issues, insist for transparent business practices, and demand that products be created by fair trade.
  • Support organizations that are fighting human slavery. Buy tshirts, products, and materials when possible. Monetary support helps them further their mission and pursue justice and freedom for all.
  • Raise awareness. Make their stories heard by making your voice heard. Choose not to close your heart or eyes to injustice. Take baby steps, and others will join you.
  • Know what is going on. There are too many resources available to learn more and spread the word to excuse yourself from the reality of this issue:

www.freetheslaves.net
love146.org/slavery
www.abolishslavery.org
www.callandresponse.com
www.notforsalecampaign.org
www.endhumantrafficking.org
www.polarisproject.org
www.freedomcenter.org/slavery-today
humantrafficking.org
Passion 2012 FREEDOM conference
www.madebysurvivors.com/AboutSlavery
www.sistersofthedivinesavior.org/sds/anti-slavery