I had been dashing around the house before, helping Big Bebe with her school project, putting a load of laundry in the washer, changing Bitty's diaper, taking a load of trash out, and then without skipping a beat kissed dear Hubby and dashed right out the door. Middle Bebe hollers out after me, "Can I come too, mom?" To which I reply, "No. See you in a bit." She looked very disappointed, and I'm literally walking to the car, finding the keys, throwing the purse over the shoulder. "Aw fine. Tell dad you're coming with me."
In the car I'm asking her why she wanted to come. Her answers are precious. She knows about the ashes and doesn't want to miss out on all that fun. Also she said she missed me, and she grabbed my hand and held it the whole ride to church. My mommy heart is melting.
Ash Wednesday service was a success. The pastor did not light anything (extra) on fire while making the ashes. There were warm faces in the crowd. I love the songs we sang, and a little piece of my heart softened.
We took communion, and had ashes placed in our foreheads with a blessing. We return to our car and Middle Bebe tells me our family is in charge of snacks for the 2nd grade class tomorrow. Ok, so we make a pit stop at the store. Here I am all of a sudden very aware that I have a huge ash cross on my forehead and am about to go buy string cheese, string beans and fig newtons. There was a little pang of worry in my body. See, I wasn't raised in the church. I was raised to respect the church, but not raised in the church. I have been to Ash Wednesday service a few times before but apparently never had to go anywhere after.
Then I am reminded of this verse:
Matthew 18: 2-3 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
So I let her take the lead. She was not worried in the least, and so we proceeded. We found our items, weaving up and down the aisles. She was proud. I was proud of her. We received a few funny looks and stares, and she didn't notice or even care. As we are leaving, and she sees her reflection on the automatic glass door to leave the store, she sees the cross on her forehead and smiles. Then turns to me and says, "You think any of those people wondered why we've got ashes all over our faces?" I nod and say, "Maybe. And if they asked, what should we do?"
"I'd tell them it's Ash Wednesday." Well there you have it. From the mouths of babes.
Simple answer. Beautiful. I am, for the record, melted.