"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Ash Wednesday. We went to Church this evening and ashes were smeared on our foreheads. The ashes are intended to be imposed in the shape of a cross, but Johnny and I were not as fortunate, again. Every year, our ashes always turn out to look like, well, a smear.

In all seriousness, we love the Ash Wednesday service. The ashes are symbolic of the Sacrifice. The ashes, the dust, also represent our mortality and call to mind repentance. It is humbling to kneel and feel cold ashes smeared upon my skin. And it is fitting that prior to Church, I was irritable as all get out, griping about who knows what, worrisome, tired, and not feeling 100% physically. I was in my full humanity needing a reminder to pipe down and confess.

This evening also ushers in Lent, a season of reflection and repentance leading up to the glory of Easter. We are fasting from TV, something we think we need. The silence in our apartment will remind us of what we truly need and truly have received: we are dust formed "ex nihilo", out of nothing, given life by the breath of God and salvation by the blood of Jesus.

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