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Use your body as a prayer

'All Night Worship Service' (2019; 2021) by Kristine Mays. Ron Cogswell/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 Deed   I wasn't able to attend Ash Wednesday service this year, so I received my ashes outside my metro stop first thing in the morning. For the first time in many years, the act felt risky to me. I was heading into my new office environment—and an organization-wide retreat—where I wasn't sure who else might be observing this solemn, visible practice, as well as unsure of how my new colleagues might regard it. As it turns out, I was the only person in a group of 70 who had ashes. Several people remarked on it throughout the day, most to say that they wanted to receive theirs or were planning to after work. It also became an interesting conversational doorknob for some folks—a way to acknowledge and respond both to the act and my choice. Ultimately, the impromptu social experiment created a simple, direct way for others to see me, and for me to see my own religious practice

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