I read an on-line story a few years ago that really touched me about Ash Wednesday. The writer said that he was in a McDonalds one Ash Wednesday and that he was just about to bite into a burger when he glanced out of the window and saw a mother, father and four children walk past all with ashes on their foreheads. He had been lapsed for years and was unaware of the day until he saw the family. He put his burger down, went to the nearest church and asked for confession. He returned to the practice of the faith and eventually became a priest. He doubted whether any of this would have happened if that family had not walked past or if he hadn't glanced out when they were passing. It shows what an open demonstration of faith can do.