A Flash of Ash

An interesting side note on Ash Wednesday.  Thanks to the Facebook friend I lifted the link from

If you don’t have faith yourself, it must be fascinating to see it in – and on – others.  Perhaps the motivating factor behind this unusual photo project noted on NPR.  
At least someone is looking – though as I shared with my congregation tonight, wearing the ash for others to see is somewhat defeating the purpose.  An interesting shift in culture and relevancy.  Once upon a time, it would have been unusual to see someone without the telltale smudge of ash on their forehead on Ash Wednesday.  Once upon a time wearing the ash was in keeping with the humble nature of Lent. 
Now, it seems to scream out above the deafening silence of ears filled with iPod earbuds and eyes glued to iPad screens.  Now, it is ostentatious, an unusually noticeable hallmark of certain traditional and historical strains of the Christian faith, in a faith community that otherwise has very few distinguishing marks, physically.  

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