Like being pregnant for the second time, I experience both apprehension and extreme excitement about what I know is coming!
There is something about the ritual of Ash Wednesday that touches the root and core of our being.
As the ashes are put on my forehead, I am humbly reminded of my place in this vast universe. As our pastor noted today, the cross on the forehead is also a reminder of the moment at baptism when the priest, parents, and godparents are asked to make the sign of the cross on the child to be baptized. Since that moment, I have been claimed for God!
But perhaps most importantly, I am also reminded of my total and complete dependence on God. The ashes may be the first symbol, but it is the purple season itself that becomes the scalpel through which my illusions of control and independence are stripped.