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Repost from the BHT

I shared this earlier at the Boar’s Head Tavern.

The Ghost(s) of Ash Wednesday Past

I don’t know if anyone has ever had the weird experiences I’ve had on Ash Wednesday but I had another one last night.

When I was 18, I went with some school mates to the Catholic Church across the street from our school. I thought getting ashed would be cool so I kneeled, stood, sat, and genuflected as best I could. When it came time for ashes, the classmate next to me said, “You can’t go up there. You aren’t Catholic.” I was steaming mad so I stomped out and went back across the street to our cafeteria for breakfast. One of my friends asked me what was wrong so I told her. She said, “Come with me to our Ash Wednesday service. I’m Episcopalian. We’ll let you do whatever you want.” I never knew what a broad statement that would turn out to be. The evening ended with my best-friend and fellow Methodist nearly spitting the wine back into the common cup because “It’s NOT grape juice.”

In my first church, I helped with my first Ash Wednesday service in 2004. I waited till the morning of to burn the palm fronds. At 6 AM before a 6:30 AM service, I could not get the palms to catch fire. I needed an accelerant. The only thing that was available was a can of WD-40. Worked like a charm. We have the service and use these truly greasy ashes that will prove difficult to wash off. A young woman who has waited her turn stands before me. Being inexperienced, I had no idea that I should use my fingers to hold back a person’s bangs as I smudge their forehead. So, this very blonde woman spent the rest of the day with a huge black streak in the middle of her bangs. It probably took days to get it out.

Last night, this seasoned pastor started imposing ashes on foreheads. It was like clock work until I very nearly Benny Hinned a lady with static electricity. The pop was loud, too. We both shook it off and went on until another lady came up and ZAP! I got her, too. It ended up happening one more time. I’ve never done that before. If static electricity were more powerful, I bet a revival would have broken out.

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