Ash Wednesday was this week. I wrote another article on my approach to Lent, but I wanted to write a bit about my experience with ashes this year.
Our church, which is not normal by any stretch, did a great job of presenting an interactive walk-thru experience for people receiving the ashes. Thanks to everyone involved for pulling that off. I’m not going to get into details on it because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who may join us next year.
After receiving ashes, I went to pick up my daughter at cheer practice. Granted, I didn’t grow up participating in Ash Wednesday either but I was really surprised by the number of people who had no idea why I had a smudge on my head.
Everything is a ministry opportunity, so I can’t complain. Every time someone commented that I must have bumped into something (as if I could have rammed my forehead into something without knowing) it gave me an opportunity to say “no, I just left church where we had an Ash Wednesday service.”
Not everyone is oblivious, of course. I stopped at the gas station along the way to fill up. My fuel light had been on far longer than I thought it would last. As I filled up, I noticed people at several other pumps with ashes coming from another church. I smiled when I noticed this and wondered if some of my other friends would be amazed at how many people had bumped into something with their heads. A couple of teens next to me spoke and asked where I had been to a service. We talked for a few minutes and they told me about their own service and how much they appreciated it.
As I finished fueling, they said “nice to meet you” and said they hoped I enjoyed my service too. There is hope for the future after all.