“…once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
~Proverbs 24:12

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ashes to Ashes

Wednesday was filled with firsts for us. It was our church plant's first Ash Wednesday service. I'm pretty sure it was Derek's first Ash Wednesday service...ever. Being raised Catholic, I have attended many Ash Wednesday services. (Memories of my high school friends and I going into the restroom after school Mass and "perfecting" the crosses on our forehead by dusting them off a bit came flooding back to me...) But for my husband, I don't think he had ever even attended such a service.

And that got me thinking...

Let me back track a bit. Derek is a pretty awesome guy. I know I'm biased, but I think the majority of people would agree. There's something...charismatic about him. He's a supportive husband, loyal friend, ridiculously fun "Papa," motivating leader, unique but upstanding pastor, and just all-around amazing guy. Wednesday evening made me realize once again how much he inspires me. How much he unintentionally prompts me to be a better...me.

He had never planned an Ash Wednesday service. He didn't have anyone with more knowledge telling him how best to explain Ash Wednesday to our church. He didn't have someone with more experience advising him how to coordinate such an event. The guy hadn't even BEEN to an Ash Wednesday service!

But he knew God was calling him to have one. And he listened. And he responded. There was never any fear of failure causing him to pause.

I thought about it as I was driving home that night. I thought about the impact the service had on the children of our church. It was interactive, tactile, spiritual, reflective—all things engaging for people 3 to 83.

I thought about the impact it made on people who attend other churches, but were looking for a place to recognize Ash Wednesday in our community. I thought about how it called people to reflect on their sins, their mortality, their needs, their love for God. I thought about it all and was inspired.

If Derek had let fear stop him from organizing such an event, God might not have been glorified in the way He was that night.

And what does that mean for me? How many times have I cheated God of receiving praise because I was too preoccupied with the fact that I might fail...?

This #fearfast is going to be good. It's already so good. And I'm so thankful for a man by my side who spurs me on in facing my fears. If he didn't face his, we would have missed out on a lot this Wednesday.

That picture right there ^^^ Those are Bennett's drawings—responses from the different stations at our Ash Wednesday service. And that guy fourth from the left? Yeah. That's Jesus. On the cross. Just another first for us Hunters that day. :)

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