“We’re smart and good, pretty and talented, witty and full of great ideas. We go to work every day wearing our titles like Boy Scout badges informing the world that we know what we’re doing. But secretly, we’re scared someone will find out that we really don’t.
Our families appear to the world like the picture of happiness, but truth is, we live every day with the pain of disappointment, betrayal and broken relationships. We tell the world we are peaceful and purpose-filled, but inside we’re scared and lonely, and we wonder all the time about life’s deeper meaning.
And so, from places near and far, many of us will make our way to quiet sanctuaries on Ash Wednesday. There, marked with the dust of our world, we will pause or kneel, and someone will meet our eyes and say in solidarity:
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
And in that moment, no matter who we are or where we come from, we can and will face, if only briefly, the truth of our lives, with all their failures and missed opportunities and disappointments. We can be honestly, openly human,” – Amy Butler, a pastor in DC.
(Photo: A young woman prays during an Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle February 17, 2010 in Washington, DC. Today marks the beginning of Lent for Catholics, a 40-day penitential period before Easter. By Win McNamee/Getty Images)