Ash Wednesday Story

I heard Tom Long tell the story once … the story of a hospital chaplain.


Ash-WednesdayDuring his lunch break a hospital chaplain headed to an Ash Wednesday service. He returned from lunch with a cross on his forehead formed from the ash of burned palm branches. He began to visit patients as usual. He entered the room of a patient he called a “smiley-faced” Christian.   You know, one who always smiles and always acts as if life is perfect. When he entered the room the patient smiled and said, “Goody, goody the chaplain is here!”

She then noticed the cross on his forehead.  She thought it was a smudge of dirt and reached for a napkin to clean it off. The chaplain said, “No, no. I’ve been to an Ash Wednesday service. This is a cross.” She replied, “Why would you want that on your forehead?” He thought about it for a minute and said, “This cross reminds me that even when life goes to hell, God is still with me.”

She looked at him, reached up, touched his forehead and said, “I think I need some of that.”


May you seek after God.  May you rest in the truth that Christ is with you.

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