Our church had two Ash Wednesday services yesterday. Helen and I went to the noon service, for two reasons—we didn’t have to drive at night, and it gave us more opportunity to wear our ash-crossed foreheads around town and thus witness to folks when they pointed out that our faces were dirty.
That didn’t happen, for two reasons—it was real cold, so we wore hats down low on our heads, and people in Blomington are too polite to point out that your face is dirty.
We did give people plenty of opportunities to see our ashen faces, because I took Helen to supper at O’Charley’s, for two reasons--it was her birthday, and Wednesday is free pie day at O’Charley’s.
As the line for having our pastor impose ashes on us got short, Helen whispered to me, “Someone needs to put ashes on Jimmy.” So I got back in line, at the end, and ashed him. I tell this for two reasons—first, to point out that everybody needs the blessing of the ashes, even preachers, and also to point out that even though it was Helen’s birthday, she was thinking about others, which is typical of her, and pretty much what being a dirty-faced follower of Jesus is all about.
It was a good service, for two reasons: first, because Jimmy Moore is such a good thinker. You can’t be a good preacher until you’re a good thinker. You can’t be a good leader of any kind until you’re a good thinker. Secondly, Jimmy’s good thinking gave me an intriguing reason, I’d never really thought of before, to give up something for Lent: getting something out of your life makes room for something new to get in.
I know what I’m giving up. It’s really quite exciting to start watching to see what will take its place.
John Robert McFarland
“At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded because of who I include than be included because of who I exclude.” Rev. Eston Williams. The “Sizzle” site says the original source is Caleb Miller.