Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ashes To Ashes, Time To Dust

"You are butt dust and to dust you shall return."

Luckily I don't have a problem with butt dust. But (there it is again!) for the first time in seven years I almost forgot yesterday was Ash Wednesday. That is because I am not working at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance as a chaplain right now.

For the past seven Ash Wednesdays I would play my cedar flute at a noon service in the chapel. Then another chaplain and I would go around and dispense ashes to any staff, families and patients who wanted them.

A patient told me, "I feel marked for death because I have cancer. But we are all marked aren't we? That why I like Ash Wednesday: other people receive the ashes and realize they are marked too."

She had a point. You know how people look at you when you have ashes on your forehead? It's very similar to the way they look at you when they find out you have cancer.

This is how having cancer improves your vision: you can see the ashes on everybody's forehead.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Indulge Me!

The Catholic church is once again giving indulgences! This means you can shave off some of your time in Purgatory. Yes, even after Catholics confess their sins and are absolved, they still have to spend some time in Purgatory before they can get into Heaven. I'd like to think that Purgatory is the equivalent of the mud room: you wipe your feet, hang up your wet coat, stow your umbrella and now you're ready to go into The House. But my Catholic friends say it is much worse.

Full disclosure: my Catholic friends don't even believe in Purgatory. But for those who do, indulgences are a great thing.

But what about us Protestants? We have our own Purgatories, you know: sitting next to someone yakking on a cellphone; talking to a guy with corn in his teeth; preachers who use football analogies in their sermons; baby showers; feeling fat; feeling unfit; feeling a fart in the dentist's chair; head cheese; headaches, Cheese Heads and big toes blisters when you're only half-way there. And these are just a few!

But now, for a limited time only, I'm offering indulgences. (I can do this because I'm ordained! In a real church!) Comment on this blog and you'll receive a pass to avoid any of the above mentioned and any of your own Personal Purgatories!

Just imagine going through your day and not having to enter Purgatory once! You'll thank me for it and all your friends will be amazed. For the low, low price of one comment.

Void where prohibited.