Do people really ever look up at the sky at night and see the stars, so many light years away, burning so bright, and say to somebody, “Our God is an awesome God”?
I’m not saying he (or she) isn’t an awesome God, I’m just wondering if people say those kinds of things in passing conversation, as opposed to, say, “Miracles happen everyday!” after the birth of a child, or when a patient wakes up from a coma.
I have often been awed – am fortunate to still be awed that birds can get off the ground, even – but I don’t know that I have ever voiced to anyone that particular exclamation of my awe, in those exact words, nor heard anyone else do so, aside from in song.
Questions of this nature come up this time of year (for me) because it is the beginning of the Lenten season – the holiest season in Christianity – and though I am Protestant, I attend an Ash Wednesday service and give up something for Lent.
Not only am I Protestant, I am Baptist, but of the backslidden variety, as I have not attended the church I am a member of for a few years now. I justify it by saying that they have nothing for me, really – I am a single woman in my mid-40s. I don’t belong in any of the Sunday school groups. I don’t fit. I’ve spoken with the pastors there, they agree I don’t fit; they don’t feel moved to be more inclusive, they just…agree.
This year Ash Wednesday holds even deeper meaning for me, though, because I am taking my small godson with me to the service.
While it is true that Baptists don’t baptize infants, and we don’t have godparents and godchildren as a general rule, somehow I was chosen as the very fortunate champion for this amazing child, and just like a good Episcopalian, I stood up in front of God and a whole church full of people and forswore all evil and promised to guide him.
As it turns out, he guides me, too.
>What are you giving up for Lent? I'm a backsliding Catholic, but it's hard to resist this season.
>I think I will give up taking a 20-minute nap during the business day, even though I think it's probably not an unhealthy thing to do.
>To answer your first question, I'd have to say that, yes, I do that on occasion. Also, I'm sitting here typing this with a smudge of ashes on my Protestant (Methodist to be precise) forehead because, with a push to bring back the traditions that are being lost in Protestant churches, ashes are not just for Catholics anymore.