It was interesting for me....I have a part-time job at a fabric and craft store and I worked yesterday (Ash Wed). I went to Mass with my 2 daughters' at their school in the morning, so I had ashes on my forehead all day. Not one for washing them off until bedtime, I bravely wore them here in the 'bible-belt" south.
Here are some of the more interesting reactions I got during the day:
1. Staring at my forehead, a clerk said, "Did you know someone wrote on you....like at a wild party last night maybe?" She was dead serious! "No, I went to Mass this morning...it's Ash Wednesday" smiling.
2. Knowing I'm a devout Catholic, a fellow crafter(who was raised Catholic, but is now a 'born-again Christian) came in to the store bearing candy and put one in front of me and said, "Hope I'm not messing up your Lent with this chocolate, am I?" with a huge cheeky grin. "No," I said, "there is much more to Lent than just giving up foods and I'm not giving up chocolate, thanks!"....to her chagrin. :)
3. An older male customer, looking up at my forehead, said "what's that?" "It's ashes." "Ashes!?" "Yes, I'm a Catholic and it's Ash Wednesday." "They really use ashes?" "Yes, we burn last year's palms from Palm Sunday and use them for today." smiling. "Wow, I didn't know they actually used ashes." "Yep!" I said proudly and went back to work.
4. Later, at the grocery store checkout line, one of the baggers, a young man looked at me and said, "Oh, man, my mom is going to be mad that I didn't go to Church today." "Well, there's 7:00 Mass tonight." "Yeah" he said, "I forgot it was Ash Wednesday and I have to work."
Not sure if I planted any seeds, answered any questions, or stirred any feelings of faith, God, and Christianity yesterday, but I tried.