When I worked in the grocery store, all 18 years, I would always get a kick out of the people who made it a point to come in on Ash Wednesday right after attending their local mass. Living in a smaller town and working at the same store for 12 of those years, I got to know many regular customers pretty well. People really will come in to shop at their worst if they have to, it’s not usually a priority to look your best I noticed. So when that woman who always buys that huge bottle of Jack every 2 weeks and 12 packs on the weekends would come in or that known drug dealer or pretty much everyone who you knew never went to church any other day but Christmas Eve and Easter would come in with that schmear on their foreheads, you know. You just know in the pit of your being that they are there for praise and to show you what a devout Catholic they are.
I can hardly talk crap about these people and not be a total hypocrite because during that time I was wild and out of control and partying and doing some horrible disastrous self harm and as long as I was in church on Sunday, it was all good. I never had the understanding that when you have a relationship and true love for Jesus you desire to live to please Him, beyond just showing up for church on Sunday still tweaking from the night before. I felt back then, that I could totally laugh at these people for making a point to come in so we could see how holy they were. Today I realize that I could have, should have seen that need for recognition as a call for help…a need for a savior. I should have looked at them, and myself for that matter, as people who needed Jesus and not just people who claim to love and serve Him just because we went to church or took the Ash.
Trips me out how much I have grown up.
I think tonight I will spend time repenting for my prideful hypocrisy of the past, for having looked down on these people who I should have related to and lifted up. I suppose those around me who said they were Christians could have done the same for me, and maybe they realize that now too? Either way, tonight my prayer is for those people.