Whenever I go traveling there are so many things to get ready. Lists of things to pack are made, supplies bought and flights confirmed. And invariably as you go out the door you can’t help but think that you’ve forgotten something. You just never feel as prepared as you would like to be.
This Ash Wednesday we will start traveling towards the cross for the next 40 days. It’s a time to stop and think about the journey ahead and get ourselves prepared. It’s a reminder that we’re marked with the cross of Christ forever as the ashes are made into a sign of the cross on our foreheads.
Whenever I have my forehead marked on Ash Wednesday I always have the urge to wipe it off right away. There’s something about a cross made of ashes on my forehead that seems embarrassing. But I remember as a kid getting face painted and never wanting to have it cleaned off. For days I wouldn’t take a bath just so I could show it off to my friends. But eventually my mom would get me in the tub and it would bleed into the bathtub water and spiral down the drain.
This Ash Wednesday take a moment to keep the cross on your forehead as a witness to whose you are. And when it washes off in the shower know that even though it’s no longer visible you will always be marked with the cross of Christ.