By Adam Harper, Senior at Ascension Cartersville
Tonight, as many of you did, I spent my time flipping hot cakes and serving my parish breakfast during our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Per tradition, on Shrove Tuesday, those youth who are in the "acolyte guild" take a break from flippin' flapjacks and huddle out in the cold with our acolyte trainer to ignite the palms from the former Palm Sunday. As you probably know, the ashes produced from this burn are in turn used in the Ash Wednesday service.
We finally finished up. and as my friends were returning to serve food, I was cleaning up with my acolyte master in the sacristy. Dan Baker is an old man -- and I say that lovingly. He has watched me grow up, and he is responsible for my total and utter love for the church and for my faith. He is one of the most incredible people I know, and with each and every encounter I learn something new from him. I'm sure a lot of us have that one person -- a mentor in our own church.
As we were cleaning up, he said something to me that I will never forget. I've been growing increasingly anxious about graduating and moving 20 hours away from home. I'll be going to a place far away from the community which helped me stay grounded in my faith. Not only that, but as it is with most places of higher learning in America, I will be surrounded by people who wish to challenge and degrade an innocent faith.
With that in context, Dan said this: "When you encounter those people, and when you encounter anyone, always remember that you might just be the only bible they will ever read." Repeat that last part, but slower. "You might just be the only bible they read." It's an incredible point, that in a world that is increasingly secular, you, a spiritual human being, are quite possible the only "bible" that some people will ever read.
You are the example, the living example. I just thought that was a beautiful thought.
With that, I hope that everyone has a reflective and meaningful lent.