Today I sport my Ashes.
You could read a million internet things about what these mean, and they probably mean many different things to many different people. And God is good and personal like that, so no worries.
What to mine mean this year?
This morning I sang the song “Ashes” in the shower as I prepared for work.
When I was in middle school I sang in a church choir and almost every week, after warmups, the director would say, “Does anyone have anything they want to sing?”
And, without fail, this one girl would request “Ashes,” independent of the liturgical season until the director was finally like, “No. We’re not singing that song.”
🙂 But! Now I know the words by heart, basically.
Today I sang these words in the shower: “We offer you our failures, we offer you attempts…the gifts not fully given, the dreams not fully dreampt.”
Maybe it’s not your favorite song, but that’s basically my jam, ya’ll.
I’m not a flashy disciple. I’m the lame one, the one who is afraid, the one who slowly strides into the water instead of throwing herself whole-heartedly. Work in progress.
So, Lent 2014. Time to pray, fast and give alms. Today the Archbishop (What whaaaat! I know. God is good to me) traced the sign of the cross on my forehead and the ashes fell into my lashes and across my nose and he said, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
And what is the Gospel? It’s the message that God hasn’t forgotten us. Jesus comes to offer us life. The Holy Spirit is with us to guide us. God walks with us, chooses us, wants us.
This is what my ashes mean this year.
Again I wasn’t what I should have been, again God chooses me. And again. And again.
He calls to a sunlit, exhausting Camino-path, and the invite is to walk it with Him…always with Him. That’s why I wear ashes: because I know I don’t deserve the friendship, but it exists anyway.
Today the Archbishop talked about the gospel and how Jesus asks us to join Him in secret places to encounter Him this Lent. The Archbishop said that Jesus calls everyone to their own places, ready to heal them/ talk to them/ work with them in their own ways.
SO. The invite always exists, right? The invite to walk more closely, know God more deeply. That’s what Lent is about. 40 days. Ready or not: Jesus calls. How do you choose to answer? You have options, we all do. There’s the option to ignore completely, the option to offer God a little bit and pretend like it’s good enough, or the option to really jump in and encounter and take this Lent seriously and use this as a time of growth and prayer.
I know which one I should pick and which one I’m tempted to pick. Pray with me that I go all in. 🙂