For Juan Taboada, Ash Wednesday not only signifies the start of Lent, but also sacrificing things you love for Jesus Christ.
Taboada was one of more than a dozen Texas Wesleyan students to receive ashes on his forehead on Wednesday in the sanctuary of the Polytechnic United Methodist Church; the freshman business major wrote in a text that he has participated in Lent his entire life.
“Lent can make others have respect for what Jesus Christ suffered for us,” he wrote. “It helps me become a better person, I don’t engage in any arguments (Anger management).”
The Rev. Ginger Watson, pastor of the Polytechnic United Methodist Church, said she has been participating in Lent since she was a little girl. She applied the ashes to the students’ foreheads.
“There is beauty and depth to ash,” she said. “We have the opportunity to take something like Ash Wednesday and make it not a scary or morbid thing like thinking about death and make it beautiful and make it be a reminder that every day is precious.”
Desirae Allen, a sophomore criminal justice major, wrote in a text that her boyfriend Jamison Manning was receiving his ashes for the first time on Wednesday; she wanted him to gain the same experience she had when she first started Lent.
“It is important to me because it is the start of a period that helps me spiritually gain a closer relationship with God through fasting and reflection on past sins,” she wrote. “It’s always a joyful experience being able to begin this period fresh, with a hopeful mind.”