When I was growing up, the only thing I knew about lint was that it got stuck between my toes. One side of my family was General Baptist and the other Pentecostal. Neither observed Lent.
Then I married Jeff. He had attended a bona fide, nuns with rulers, uniform-required Catholic school. Lent was a real thing to his family. Fish on Fridays and giving up things for forty days every Spring. I found the idea fascinating. I was raised with fasting and praying. The concept is similar. But this was a whole new level.
Practiced by Catholics, Methodist, Anglicans, Episcopalians, and others, Lent is observed in remembrance of the forty days Jesus was tempted in the desert. They go without things like a meal per day, coffee, social media, etc. in order to experience, to a very small degree, what Jesus went through while fasting and being tempted for forty days. Some people add a discipline like prayer, daily devotional reading, or almsgiving. Fasting and praying is doing both—taking away one thing to concentrate on another. That works for me. I usually spend the forty days taking time from other activities to give thanks for the large and small blessings in my life. It redefines my prayer time, putting more emphasis on thanking God than whining about the lint in my toes.
So to begin my Gratitude for Lent season, I am thanking God for my little brother! His birthday is today. I talked to him this evening. He was making a deal to buy one hundred roosters. Yes. One hundred roosters. He recently sold one hundred forty roosters. So this is just another Thursday to him. He was born loving animals. There was always a pig, chick, or puppy in our house being nurtured by Virgil. People would bring the runts of litters from all kinds of critters to him when we were growing up. Maybe he did so well with the animals because he was a runt himself. He was amazing at caring for them and breathing life into their little bodies. I think they were too afraid of letting him down to die on his watch.
I was in awe of him. I still am. Who buys and sells roosters one hundred at a time? My awesome brother, that’s who! He may be my half brother, but he is twice the rooster deal-maker than the average Joe. Thank God for little brothers!