Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ash Wednesday and Cosmic Connections

I didn't attend an Ash Wednesday service yesterday. Work was crazy and it would have been a scramble to get somewhere. Plus at this point in the 'dechurched process', I don't know where "somewhere" would have been! I did sort of miss it though... I like the reflective nature of Ash Weds, the quiet turning inward that allows for self-examination. I also like the tactile experience of having ashes marked on one's forehead; and, hearing "you are dust and to dust you shall return" has a way of putting things in perspective. Big time.

But, sitting at home, I decided the ol' carbon on the forehead would have to wait until next year. Carbon... Maybe it was the brain fry from a long day in clinic, but the word got me thinking. That same carbon present in the ashes is present in every cell of our bodies. When you look at life on Earth in general, it's all fundamentally (molecularly) the same kind of life! And looking out to the cosmos...yep, carbon there too! To quote Lily Tomlin's The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe, "Seems like there's some kind of cosmic crazy glue connecting everything to everything."

Yeah, it's all about connections... Actually turned out to be an ok way to start the Lenten season.



Serena Sullivan said...

No doubt about it ... all creation is connected! "Crazy Glue" is an interesting picture. Margaret Wheatley, in her book "Leadership and the New Science," does a great job of talking about this from the perspective of quantum physics (in language that even I could understand.) Of course, I picture that connection as the immanent spirit of God. (Def of "immanent" = "remaining within; indwelling; inherent; Theology (of the Deity) indwelling the universe, time, etc.)

Rodger Sellers said...

I'll trade you: My wife and I attended a "group" Ash Wednesday service with maybe 5- 6 churches taking part. End result? Everyone sort of acted like they weren't real sure why we were getting together! (Most of these churches hadn't ever done one before, so it was a disconnected, politically correct, mess!

I think I might have resonated with the beginning of the journey again in my own way than what actually has to suffice for the beginning of lent this year.

Barb Berger said...

Hmm... well, that does sound less than ideal...