Prop us up on our leanin’ side
Someone sent this to me in an email some time ago, and I wanted to share it.
“I heard of an old deacon who always prayed: ‘Lord, prop us up on our leanin’ side’. After hearing him pray that prayer many times, someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently. He answered, ‘Well sir, you see, it’s like this….I got an old barn out back. It’s been there a long time, it’s withstood a lot of weather, it’s gone through a lot of storms, and it’s stood for many years. It’s still standing, but one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit. So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn’t fall. Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn. I’ve been around a long time, I’ve withstood a lot of life’s storms, I’ve withstood a lot of bad weather in life, I’ve withstood a lot of hard times, And I’m still standing too. But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, ’cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning, at times. Sometimes we get to leaning toward anger, leaning toward bitterness, leaning toward hatred, leaning toward cussing, leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn’t, so we need to pray, ‘Lord, prop us up on our leaning side,’ so we will stand straight and tall again, to glorify the Lord.”
As you may be aware, I just celebrated a birthday. The older I get the more aware I am of my weaknesses. I’m also, therefore, more and more thankful for God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness only comes if we confess our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness for Jesus sake. As we enter into Lent we’re particularly mindful of the need for self-examination, confession, and repentance.
Maybe you need to be propped up on the leaning side. Maybe there’s a sin you need to confess and receive God’s forgiveness. Pray for God’s help in observing a Holy Lent. Ask God to help you in your self-examination. Experience the blessed relief of God’s forgiveness.
Father Jim Fosdick SSC
Canon to the Ordinary