“the laying on of something as a burden or obligation.”
Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of lent, when those who choose to do so focus on spiritually preparing themselves for the resurrection on Easter.
I was 25 minutes late to the imposition of the ashes service. Because college.
But I got there. I sang Rock of Ages. And I walked the walk that I grow anxious for when the days are short and the nights are long.
I hate being an imposition. And the only I place I consistently leave the feeling of imposing behind is at church. It’s where I rest. More than anywhere else, even ren faire. I forget the stress and the anxiety, and I rest knowing I am in the hearts of those around me and am shrouded in love and wishes for peace.
My pastor mentioned something about the ashes, though. That, completely inadvertently on his part, brought my highest level of worry to the forefront of my thoughts as I stood waiting to walk the walk. He said that the first mark is an I… And it represents everyone. Now, whether he meant it or not, I realize now what I never quite understood about Lent. Yes, it’s a good spiritual practice to give something up for a time, but why does there have to be a season? Why make such a fuss? And I know now the answer. Because by having a season, we know we’re together. We can look at the ashes on each other’s foreheads and we can realize that not only are the ashes imposed on us, not only is some sort of fast imposed on us, but we become and imposition to each other. And when one’s greatest, hugest fear is that they will be an imposition, it’s a crazy comfort to realize that it’s the intent for 40 days.
My words aren’t doing my thoughts justice, but I think you get my meaning. I rest knowing that I definitely and unabashedly impose on each and every person who walked that walk today. And that’s liberating.