I sat between Papi and a young lady with red pointed high heels. The mass ended, we could go in peace to love and serve and at different posts in the aisles people stood with the small dish full of ashes, smudging the dust on foreheads repeating, "Repent and believe... Repent and believe," with each marking. The lady with the red heels stood up looked at me and asked, "Is it over?" With a smile and a gesture I followed her in procession to dish full of ashes. "Repent and believe," he said. "Amen."
"Repent and believe." I interrupted the flow of the procession and headed back to the pew. I sat there in awe of the words chanted from the lips of the people with the small dishes full of ashes. I believed those words. Those words were being sung and repeated for me. Nothing else needed to be uttered. The night before, the fears, the doubts within... I am to be transformed and to simply believe. I stood up, smirked at God's clarity and precision, and cut through the people in single-filed lines without smudges and headed out to the storm.
Tornado warnings alarmed the county, the turbulence of the wind and rain halted our agendas, and with a smudge on my forehead I believe.