I have been observing Ash Wednesday most of my life. Each year, early or late, it seems to sneak up on me. Yet once it arrives, I embrace it as a whole-day event. Knowing I am about to get a stark reminder of my mortality or that I carry one on my forehead colors the other hours of the day. Like many annual events of faith, I think Ash Wednesday is one we grow into with each repetition.
When our daughter was five, she stood between us at an Ash Wednesday service. The ashes were placed on my head. Then they were traced on hers. My own mortality I could accept, but this beautiful little girl? Yes. “As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Deeper into Ash Wednesday: Mortality.