Today is Ash Wednesday. Being raised in a town that didn't even have a Catholic church, I never saw anyone with ashes on their forehead until I went to college. I can still see the girl walking toward me in the hall of the Learning Resource Center at ORU. I remember feeling a bit embarrassed for her - she obviously didn't realize she had some kind of dirt thing going on on her face. After she passed, it dawned on me what I was really seeing.
It's kind of funny that my first introduction to such an ancient practice happened at a modern charismatic university. I was definitely getting a feel for all things ecumenical. Also humorous, that from such Catholic ignorant beginnings, I ended up marrying a former Catholic. In the years since then, I've become more interested in at least a couple of the ancient traditions of the church - Lent being one of them. Every year I keep trying different ideas to make this season leading up to Easter more meaningful, more powerful. This year, when I was looking around on the internet, I found a helpful site and wanted to pass it on.
God may use something there as a spark to draw you closer to him.
Some of you may also be familiar with Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience.
If you haven't visited it, quit reading mine and go to hers. She has beautiful, God exalting thoughts. Her words help you love God more. This year I purchased the Advent to Lent Wreath made by her family . You move the candle and carved figure forward a space every day. We are looking forward to using it as a daily reminder during these next 40 days leading up to Easter.
Offering our heart to God starts today. Not because today is the official beginning of Lent, but because today is what we've been given to live. We can't go back and change the past. We can't live in the future. But we can fully live today. And that journey begins at the heart and the cross.