‘This is the voice of contemporary South African fiction’—Joanne Ruth Davis reviews Mphuthumi Ntabeni’
DAY 1: ASH WEDNSDAY
Ash Wednesday. Another start to the eternal year of the Church's cycle. For mortals, time and years flow by, creases and bitterness spread over, the bile rises with the quenching of the years.
What is your challenge then on this Lenten season, to give up alcohol and other indulgences? To go for the low hanging fruits? Meantime real cracks of hour life are now visible.
The challenge is to love even those out of love with yourself, with a forgiving quiet love. Not just the so called enemies. But those Louis MacNeice call Dear Against My Judgement:
When we're out of love,
How are we ever in it?
Where're the mountains
And the mountain skies,
That heady air instinct
With a strange sincerity
That winged our lies?
The peaks have fallen
Like light dropping pastry.
After we survive our losses there's a greater task of making sense of them. This is when the past, like the future, feels like something you're going towards than away from.
That is the greater task in this season that think to expose us as callous and uncaring when we disagree with those who love us only with their egos. The challenge is not to fall for the poison of demonising others because they're disappointed in us. But to remain warm against the blizzard of bitterness that threatens the core of your very understanding of self, and not to philosophise disgrace.
Somehow, we always corrode the truth by our own point of views. I guess there's nothing else to do since all we really are is the integrity of our selves?
The Gospels emphasises the fact that Jeshua spoke with authority. This because he was grounded in the Truth of God. So his words reverberates with God's actions in eternity that echos into creation on the realm of time. This is what it means to be grounded within the integrity of your life, that your actions and woords must tie up with those of the Holy Spirit, the Lord who is the giver of life and is forever renewing and breathing new life into creation. That's the first goal of Lent, to ground us in the truth of God with silent humility. It is what the prophet Micah meant about acting justly, loving mercy while walking humbly with your God?