Sign of the Cross

Posted: February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I saw my first one this morning near the mall. She came out of Target and crossed the street, cross on her forehead. Obviously the young woman had come from a morning Ash Wednesday service. I assumed she would sport the ashes for the rest of her day, displaying the dust from whence she came and to which she would return.

Then there was our own Ash Wednesday service with lots of people listening intently to words about mortality, brokenness, and that which separates us from God. They came forward in a line, like prisoners waiting to receive a sentence on their foreheads. Afterwards our choir director conducted rehearsal with a plus sign on his forehead; none of us thought it strange. I expected to see us wearing the ashes just like I expected to see someone, somewhere doing the same at the mall.

What I did not expect was to watch the Colbert Report tonight and spot a an ashen cross on Stephen’s forehead, right there in the middle of his usual tongue-in-cheek commentary. I stopped and remembered that he is a practicing Catholic. And he wears his faith right there in front of a national audience doing what he always does without a self-conscious bone in his believing body.

If Colbert can do that on television, neither seeking special recognition nor fearing ridicule, what might I risk?

Perhaps I shall give up cowardice for Lent.

  1. Sam Wright says:

    After Wednesday service I stopped at Gerbes and bought a nice marbled rib eye. ( not giving up meat for Lent! ) I felt proud to bear the palm ash on my forehead. I was told, in response to concern I had about my many friends not being Christian, “not to wear my Christianity on my sleeve”. I had some concern of how those people might judge me, succumbing to the Lord is a tough thing when everything in your past was far from Gods will. Walking to the meat department there were eyes on me. It really hit home then. Is this how we treat each other? Is this how a Muslim or a Jew or a Mormon feel?? Why Does a red dot on the forehead or an ash cross draw so much attention?I see people look saddened at my son in a wheel chair. I can’t force anything but a flat smile and eye contact. We should all be proud of ourselves, our heritage moat importantly, our Christian faith!

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