Lent 5: Plastic Army Men

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On my desk at work, there is a small beige plastic army man. There’s another green plastic army man sitting on top of a jar of artichoke hearts in my basement pantry. There’s another one on a bookshelf in a spare room. They are purposefully placed.

I found the Artichoke Army Man randomly in my basement, so I put him somewhere that I would see him semi-regularly (and sometimes he moves from a jar of Artichokes to a can of craft beer, and then to a jar of tomato paste. He wanders the pantry). The one on the bookshelf in my spare room was likely a mistakenly-filed item from a give-away box when Child cleaned his room before he left for Basic Training. The third one, the beige one, my aunt brought me. She got it at an American Legion she visited with a friend on vacation. They had a whole bowl of them, and encouraged people to take one. She said there was a sign to take one and place it somewhere that will remind me to pray for those who serve our country.  She took a few to bring home to us, so we could think of Child and his brethren, both at the Royal Military College, as well in the reserves and regular forces.

When I reach over to get a pencil or a sticky note out of my stash, I see the army man. When I go downstairs to flip the laundry or get the ingredients to prepare dinner, I see a different army man. When I water my plants or put a magazine I’ve finished reading into a file, I see a different army man again. So I take a moment and pray for my son’s well-being: “St. Michael, patron of the military, watch out for him today.”

This program is an excellent way to help draw the military into the lives of the people at home. So during Lent, surely there’s a million ways to make me mindful to the spring cleaning of my soul effort too, right?

This Lent, may I be receptive to the gentle guidance the universe places in my path to Easter.

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