With a sigh and a muffled sob, I set down my ashes:
this fragile life, this fragile ego, these vain illusions
of all that I might do…might have…might be.
With a sigh and twinge of regret, I set down my ashes:
dreams I have chased, wounds I have clung to,
fears that have crowded out hope like weeds.
With a sigh and a longing cry, I pick up your healing oils:
humility to recognize your glory, purpose in the work
alongside one another, gratitude of breath & body.
With a sigh and a contrite spirit, I pick up your healing oils
to sustain this journey — for forty days, for a lifetime —
surrounded by grace and animated by love.
Let the ashes be ashes.
Let the dust be dust.
Let the healing begin.
On Joel 2:12 — “Yet even now, says the LORD,
return to me with all your heart, with fasting,
with weeping, with mourning.”