Lent is our desert experience. What is your desert experience?
For Margaret Tobin Brown, (known as the unsinkable Molly Brown), her desert might have been the Titanic. A Catholic born to poor Irish immigrants, she was already known for her charity. She began soup kitchens, built a prototype of today’s juvenile justice system and was active in woman’s suffrage.
But on that dark night in 1912 the “heroine of the Titanic” was born. Despite her protests to let others go first, she was thrust into a lifeboat with 23 women. There she divvied up extra layers of woolen stockings she’d had the foresight to don and gave away her coat. She sang songs to keep spirits up and made survivors take turns rowing to keep them from freezing to death. Once all survivors were rescued by another ship, she was the last to stay onboard, working tirelessly and using her knowledge of five languages to help poor Europeans find relatives and relief.
What do we expect to learn from our desert experience: how much to sacrifice? how to be patient? how to help others? how to recognize God’s presence?