Who am I?
Today, I am a black thumb. Usually this is not something to brag about, because gardeners will hope that “black thumbs” will stay far away from anything growing. But today is Ash Wednesday. So all day today I have had black soot ingrained into the creases of my thumb. Our morning began in a Diner, offering ashes for people at the beginning of the day. Near lunchtime, I had a meeting with someone who would not be able to attend a service, and so I was able to offer him ashes as well. After dinner, we gathered to worship, confess and repent.
With this black thumb, comes an imprint of a cross on my forehead. “You’ve been marked!” A woman said to me, and indeed, I have been marked. Marked and sealed, imprinted with the sign of repentance. A cross on my head is only the outside mark, inside, I am marked and changed.
I dressed this day in greys, blacks and heathers, somber colors for the beginning of Lent. I carried ashes on my face, remembering sometimes only seconds before smearing them into oblivion. Tonight I will wash my face, and the ashes will be gone, but I pray the imprint will remain. I pray my black thumb will be a reminder of the love of God that grows and shares with abundance.
Soon we will begin to plant seeds in the soil, hoping that our green thumbs will help things to be fruitful and multiply. But for now, I pray that my black thumb has helped imprint the love and grace of God on me, and on those around me.