W H A A A A A T?
You may be wondering why people have marked up foreheads today…some, you might be able to see as an actual sign of a cross and others are going to look like smudges that have been unnoticed and unattended.
Before you go with a, “Ummmm, there’s a big black smudge on your forehead,” card, just know that it’s Ash Wednesday, the official day of the 40 days of Lent.
Most liturgical churches celebrate the occasion, but it’s not ever found in the Bible as one of the “OTHER” Silent Commandments. There are some peculiar settings for the ritual, though.
Smudged Cross Wearers are not trying to show off today and or pronounce, “HEY LOOK AT ME, I’M A REAL CHRISTIAN!”
The Smudge is worn to remind the Wearer and the See-er of the Smudge, “FROM DUST YOU WERE CREATED AND TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN.”
Hmmmm, a nice way of saying, “DEAD-SINNER WALKING!”
But and it’s a rather Big, B U T, sporting the Smudge is actually meaningless unless there are some inner change that shows up outwardly much greater than the Smudge itself…and of the the two, this one hopefully is more noticeable and longer-lasting than the Smudge.
. . .For this, there is a Biblical Mandate from the book of Isaiah 58:5-7 and truly it transcends all Religions and becomes Universal because each Religion actually embraces:
“IS THIS THE KIND OF FAST I’VE CHOSEN FOR YOU, ONLY A DAY TO HUMBLE YOURSELF? IS IT ONLY THE BOWING OF ONE’S HEAD LIKE A REED AND FOR LYING ON SACKCLOTH AND ASHES? IS THAT WHAT YOU CALL A FAST, A DAY ACCEPTABLE TO THE LORD? IS THIS REALLY NOT THE KIND OF FASTING I HAVE CHOSEN FOR ALL: TO LOOSE THE CHAINS OF INJUSTICE AND UNTIE THE CORDS OF YOKE, TO SET THE OPPRESSED FREE AND BREAK EVERY YOKE? IS IT NOT TO SHARE YOUR FOOD WITH THE HUNGRY AND TO PROVIDE THE POOR WANDERER WITH SHELTER–WHEN YOU SEE THE NAKED, TO CLOTHE HIM AND NOT TO TURN AWAY FROM YOUR OWN FLESH AND BLOOD?”
. . .So, getting Smudged may not be of utmost importance, wearing the smudge for a day, even less, but literally S M U D G I N G others with your kindness, compassion, care, UN-CONDITIONAL LOVE, acceptance, and assistance (FOR MORE THAN A DAY OR A SEASON OR A MERE OBSERVANCE). . .well now. . .
May I be the first in line to not so much offer my broad forehead, but my Open Heart!
GET SMUDGED and SMUDGE UNCEASINGLY!