Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I am at Noodles, and the lunch crowd is as noisy and bustling as always. But I am still, knowing that today the embers of a fire grow black. I turn to the ashes, and see myself in them: dusty, cold, unforgiven. Out of the ashes I lift up my heart into solemn repentance, and I begin that long journey to the cross again. Oh Lord, I am sorry. You took the journey for me; thank you. May I be more worthy of your love from here forward.