We had our annual, multi-church Ash Wednesday service last night. Suydam Reformed hosted, so it was also multi-lingual. The pastor's sermon is told in English and Spanish, with the sermon being translated and read by another at intervals. I'm pretty happy with how many words I was able to recognize, although it helped that I had just heard the same thing in English, so I already had the gist of it.
The sermon's message was to take your troubles and lay them at the cross, in particular, problems that you have with other people. He also said that when you have a problem with another, instead of meeting them at their level, you should bring them to where you are, presumably at the side of Jesus.
I think of the people I have problems with. I don't know how close I can bring them to the cross, but I certainly thought long and hard about how I go down to other people's level. And in large part it's because I want them to like, or approve, of me. If I stay on my side of the line in the sand, I'm scared you'll get mad. And then I'll have to react to that. Instead of keeping my boundaries, I expect other people to keep them and then get mad when they don't . Not coincidentally, our pastoral theme for Lent is Fear. "Don't be afraid, my love is stronger, my love is stronger than your fear." I sing this to Sally when she's scared in the dark. Maybe I should sing it to myself as I respect my own boundaries and keep them.
Spring is close by. Robins are out, despite the snow. No crocuses yet. But soon.