I’ll grant you that recovering attorneys make lousy theologians, because we’ve been trained to quibble with rigid rules and argue for exceptions and loopholes that work to the convenience of our overbilled clients. Nevertheless, I must say that I think that anyone staying at this Hotel who’s currently having a rough time of it deserves a free pass during the upcoming Lenten season. (I had to look it up, but it starts this year on March 9, Ash Wednesday.)
According to the official rulebook of my own denomination (which I must confess that I often find to be as opaque as the USGA’s Rules of Golf), the forty days of Lent are supposed to be a time of voluntary self-denial and going the extra mile in performing works of charity. That’s entirely well and good for someone like me, who will be fortunate enough to live Lent in the Great State of Remission. But for the thousands of guests of this Hotel who are currently having a rough go of it, in my book that’s an awfully lot to ask. I don’t think I’ll be excommunicated if I argue that the rules of Lent ought to be reversed for your benefit: you deserve a forty-day furlough from melanoma and all of its trappings.
But since I lack the ecclesiastical authority to grant any Lenten bye weeks, I’ll offer this instead. If there’s something I can do to help you, please let me know.