For the past year or so, I have had the privilege to be a part of a writing group. Our time together has been a great gift to me and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to spend time with these amazing women. Recently, we were asked to write some Lent reflections for our church and my friends graciously agreed that I can post some of their reflections on Hope Feathers. Since Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, I begin this series with some of my own memories of Lent.
Lent Reflection #1 “Remembering…”
“Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19
I remember going to services on Ash Wednesday as a young girl. I went to Catholic grade school and was raised in the Episcopal Church so there were lots of opportunities for ashes in my childhood.
I remember standing in the long line at church, waiting my turn, watching the people ahead of me turn to leave with big gray marks on their forehead.
I remember the comfort and feeling of connection I felt when the priest would gently make the cross on my forehead, how it would stir this strange feeling of longing and pride in my young heart as I stood at the altar.
I remember walking into school with the ashy cross on my forehead, sure that everyone was looking at me. The ashes felt so heavy, and I was always surprised and disappointed when I looked in the mirror and could hardly see the mark anymore.
I remember giving up soda and candy, but not really knowing why, just knowing that for 40 days I struggled to resist some of my favorite stuff.
I remember a teacher explaining that we didn’t have to always “give up” something for Lent, that we could “take up” something, like doing more chores, or being kind to our siblings, or giving canned food to the soup kitchen.
I remember not understanding anything about Lent.
And to be honest, even though I have learned a lot about the whole idea of the 40 days before Easter, I am not sure I fully understand the significance of it all.
So for the next 40 days, a few friends and I hope to explore and study and reflect on what Lent is supposed to mean to a Christian. We hope you will join us.