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Archive for February, 2015

Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

I wasn’t at an Ash Wednesday service this evening and yet it still seemed rather appropriate where I found myself…

Dimmed rooms and quieted voices and tears and grief and mourning. The rituals of how we mark the passing of life. Casket surrounded by flowers and loved ones and photos and tangible pieces of memories.

A shillelagh. Of all things. A shillelagh.

And I open the little memorial card, accented with Celtic design.
Inside is the Irish blessing, “May the road rise to meet you…”
Of course.
I smile and tears come to my eyes.
Of course. I would expect no less.

And I look up and there she is…
But the body is just a shell.
Emptied now of breath, of life.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

I trace my fingers over larger, italicized words of the blessing,
“And until we meet again…”

We will.
For the life that is no longer here is now elsewhere
fuller, truer.

It is my understanding that Ash Wednesday is set apart to acknowledge our frailty and our sinfulness and to begin a Lenten journey towards the cross. A time to remember the sufferings of Jesus, to somehow enter into that reality and to confess our need for a Savior.

She understood suffering.
She understood her need for a Savior.
She clung to the cross.
She clung to Jesus.

And now this journey we make she will make no longer.
She is on the other side.
With the One who suffered and died and prepared the way for her.
And for us.

And so I journey.
And I acknowledge.
And I cling.
To Jesus.

(This began with intentions of a short little poetic Facebook status, but as I processed and remembered it quickly grew into a longer reflection.)

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