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40: a story that begins with the end

Thursday, February 23, 2012


"40 is a thrilling post-apocalyptic drama."

"Seven strangers appear to be the only survivors of a mysterious, calamitous event: Los Angeles is empty, devoid of people. No sign remains of family, neighbors or coworkers. No space ship hovers over the city, there are no zombies or flesh-eating viruses. Just seven strangers, who share the same iridescent blue mark on the shoulder, a tiny, precise square of color that wasn¡¯t there yesterday. Were they chosen? Or have they been culled? By whom? For what purpose?

"Their search for answers leads the seven to an even greater mystery. Why do they suddenly feel compelled to leave the safety of the city for an unknown destination? And why does the number 40 exert such power over them? Why are they being drawn towards whatever 40 represents with such compulsion, such longing?"

"Exile and journeying, loss and grief, hunger and thirst, mortification and fasting, sin and redemption, the path through the desert and the way of the Cross¡ªall are dramatically ¡°mirrored¡± by the story unfolding onscreen.

"Download episodes on your home computer for family viewing. Catch the latest episode on your Smartphone during lunch.... At home, at work or in the classroom¡ª40 is the perfect compliment to your Lenten experience.

***Note each episode will be uploaded and available for viewing at 12:00AM PST on each air date.***

EPISODE 1: ASSEMBLY ¨C Premiere ¨C Ash Wednesday, February 22nd

"Seven strangers appear to be the only survivors of a mysterious, calamitous event: Los Angeles is empty, devoid of people. No sign remains of family, neighbors or coworkers. No space ship hovers over the city, there are no zombies or flesh-eating viruses. Just seven strangers who band together when they see the smoke rising from an unseen fire¡­"

"On Ash Wednesday we acknowledge that we, too, are left behind. Somehow, through sin or dispassion, neglect or compulsion, we have lost our way. We are wanderers¨C abandoned, confused and isolated."

"Isolated by sin, lacking the consolation of community and the nourishing intimacy of family and loved ones, We ask Who am I? Alone, solitary, with no one to acknowledge my presence or look in my eyes, Am I still me?"

"We... can search in vain or strive mightily with little outcome. We, too, have experienced the sudden liberation, the opening of possibilities, that can only occur when we stop insisting on doing things our way."

"We listen for a call to assemble. Keenly aware of our vulnerability, of how dependent we are on the hospitality and charity of strangers, we strain to hear a horn or a bell or a kindly word¡ªany sound that might signal relief or offer solace.

My greatest fear is isolation/abandonment... especially with respect to the potential loss of my husband and daughter (the only safe place I have ever known). I had a 'crazy' half hour last summer at the local fair when a HUGE (unusually BAD and violent) storm blew in and I was separated from them... they did the sane thing and stayed put in the closest shelter, and I ran around in the storm frantically looking for them... I *could.not.rest* until I could once again see/touch them. Honestly, I was okay with dying, if that was in the cards, but it had to be together. The thing is, if we had been together at the onset, I would have laughed and huddled with the best of them, no panic involved. HOW crazy is THAT?! And I know God knows this about me and he's familiar with all my ways (Psalm139:1, 3), so I really don't understand WHY he insists on challenging me this way, LOL. Yet, SLOWLY, I'm coming to understand that my comfort and refuge isn't ever to be found externally. The older I get, the more I realize that I am alone, isolated in my experience, and I can't look to others, or to outside of myself pursuits, to fill the void. I'm pretty sure if I were in the shoes of these people I would NOT be calm in any way. I wonder if I would reach inside for my faith... or would I simply curl up and die?

It occurs to me suddenly, "the only safe place I have ever known" isn't my husband and daughter... no matter what has happened or been done to me, I've always been 'safe'... haven't I? How else would I come to be HERE... as I AM... vibrant and whole, still? The pondering begins...

EPISODE 2: A BIG ENOUGH BOAT ¨C Friday, February 24th

"The seven strangers find a safe home in the form of an office building to ride out their journey as they continue to uncover the mystery behind '40' and each other."

"As Lent begins, we stand around and ask ourselves, "What next?" We recall that every Lent is a journey. We know in our bones that whatever lies ahead will be arduous; it will demand sacrifice, privation and suffering."

To the Lost, places look unfamiliar; faces are strange; signs are obscure and choices seem either inconsequential or beyond our ability. At times, it is all we can do to just step forward.

"Looking at one another over dying flames, WE are humbled by our neediness and vulnerability. We are ill-suited for the challenges ahead. But we are not alone. We are in this together. We are in the same boat."

"The story of the Great Flood and the Ark is part of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions. We know it by heart. Humans have turned from God, so God wipes them out and starts all over with just a few, a remnant he'd saved by ordering them onto a boat that survived the terrible waters.

"The season of Lent is an ark, a great storm-tossed ship carrying us above the waters, transporting us to new life."

"In Lent, as we contemplate the personal and social sins brought pain and suffering to others and left us alone and isolated, we are consistently led to similar questions of responsibility. Inevitably, we must ask, How can I respond? How can I make it right?"

This struck me deeply... I'd never thought of Lent in these terms before:
"The season of Lent is an ark, a great storm-tossed ship carrying us above the waters, transporting us to new life."
The vastness of life (this boat) boggles my mind... the things that frighten me, the things which puzzle and confound me, the mysteries, the compexities... God knows the completeness of it ALL right down to the number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:29-31)... you'd think that would make me feel safe, and yet my trust issues trip me up continuously. Initially, I'd likely be the woman who refuses to enter the building wih the others... and perhaps I would 'drown' as the 'waters rose'... though overall I'm a more hopeful, faithful person than all of that.
My life experiences have left me overly cautious and suspicious... I trust God, but I realize I don't really ever trust people (yet, if I don't trust people or my circumstances do I really trust God?)... and when things have been truly bad for me, I haven't had to worry. I KNOW I'm being called to a greater trust on every level... but it's SO hard... how would having no choice in the matter change me? I'm honestly not sure.
It's sort of like this adventure to health (which I likely wouldn't have undertaken had I had any choice)... some truly miraculous things have happend of late... yet I still fight the process. SIGH. I know I'm now not as 'lost' as I was when I started out, but I've a ways to go. The pondering continues...

EPISODE 3: THE VERDICT ¨C Monday, February 27th

EPISODE 4: THE SIGN OF JONAH ¨C Wednesday, February 29th

EPISODE 5: THE ENEMY ¨C Monday, March 5th

EPISODE 6: A CITY ON A HILL ¨C Wednesday, March 7th

EPISODE 7: THE PROPHET¡¯S REWARD ¨C Monday, March 12th


EPISODE 9: DREAMERS ¨C Monday, March 19th

EPISODE 10: THE WAILING ¨C Wednesday, March 21st

EPISODE 11: THE AGE OF PARADOX ¨C Monday, March 26th

EPISODE 12: FIRE AND ASH ¨C Wednesday, March 28th

EPISODE 13: SPRING CLEANING ¨C Monday, April 2nd

(helleborus niger - Lenten Rose)

LENT: What do you give up when the world gives out?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Everyone was right that was really interesting, i love the story about the storm. Thanks for sharing this.
    2309 days ago
    I'm curious; I'll check in on the 24th. Interesting interesting interesting Ramona! You continue to be a shining light. Hugs & love
    2312 days ago
    Will you post each day with the link so we can remember to watch the vid? I will forget otherwise. Sad but true, to much going on and I really want to see the whole series.

    2312 days ago
  • KNH771
    2312 days ago
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