I made my first itty bitty step today. I went to the Ash Wednesday evening service at a local liberal Episcopalian church. And it was good. I went through the whole service, saying the words and getting the ash on my forehead and even taking communion. I felt sort of weird about communion, but the rector specifically said that the church celebrates open communion and anyone whose heart is open to Jesus Christ is welcome to join. If he would have said anyone who believes is welcome, I'd have stayed in my seat, but my heart is open, so up I went.
I can't say honestly that I felt anything spiritual, but I did feel comfortable, and peaceful, and the sermon and readings gave me things to ponder, particularly the bit from Matthew, regarding not putting on a show of faith for others to see, but having private, personal faith. I also felt particularly drawn towards Matthew 6-13:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
That was something good for me to hear and think about, I think. I plan to return to this church on Sunday, and every Sunday for the next weeks, culminating in Easter Sunday. In between Sundays, I plan to ponder both the messages I heard at church and the feelings that they brought to light. And I plan to keep trying to pray. Right now, I think that's all I can do, and I think it's enough.