Christ Church offered Ashes to Go at the King Street Metro station again this year. It was a cold day but our hearts were warm in sharing the message of God’s forgiveness as open to all who turn and seek it. In my fourth year of offering ashes at the metro station, I observed familiar things and experienced some new reactions. As cold and early as the day typically is, offering Ashes to Go is a great blessing to me – truly I received more than I give. Every year it is a delight to see people who walk with such purpose towards our group as we offer the ashes. You can see it in their eyes that they know what they are seeking and are thankful for finding that God moment – a moment of prayer, a moment of turning to God, a moment of forgiveness, a moment of grace. Then there are the people who are pleasantly surprised to see us. They did not expect to be able to receive ashes that day due to work or family commitments and yet there we are offering the ashes and prayer. Every year at least one person says, “Oh! Is it Ash Wednesday today?”

This year, we had several people, more than ever before, who wanted to leave an offering. Let me be clear that this is our offering to the community and we do not have a plate, bowl, or basket for offerings. Yet there were people who wanted to make an offering but not to receive the ashes. I am praying for one gentleman who said, no, he wasn’t worthy to receive the ashes. May he come to know God’s grace and love for him. And the unexpected offering was of two small bottles of soda, offered with explanation that she could not leave her bottle opener with us but wanted us to receive something.

What I love about this congregation that God calls to receive Ashes to Go at the metro is how diverse it is. Elderly and children. Anglo and African-American and Asian and Latino. Well-dressed, casually dressed, dressed in stained clothing. Going to work, coming home from work, those not having work to do, and a few stepping out of work for a few minutes for this God moment. Lapsed Catholics and active Catholics, a Lutheran and Methodist or two, folks from unknown Christian traditions, Episcopalians, and some from Christ Church. All seeking a God moment and knowing that grace is found even at the metro. May they know that God is present there each and every day.