Thursday, February 07, 2008

Day One...a postscript

Even though I am writing on Thursday morning, this is really more of a p.s. to yesterday than a reflection on the second day, as that is just beginning. Our Ash Wednesday service was profound for me. M and I shared the service. We had a traditional Ash Wednesday service which for us includes a litany of penitance, receiving ashes and the celebration of the Eucharist. I had the privilege of being the one to "impose" the ashes as the prayer book says. I had to go look the word impose up to see if there was something I was missing here, but all the definitions had the same sense of the word that I am familiar with, that of bringing something on someone with force or at the very least authority, pushing it at them. I did not feel that! I felt instead that I was giving them a splendid gift. The opportunity to remember by word and symbol the fragile and brief nature of this earthly life. How precious it and we are before God. And how God holds us in that life...and that we can indeed trust God to do that.

As I spoke each person's name and said those sacred, sacred words, "remember that you are dust and to dust you will return," I kept thinking about something that was said in our prayer workshop on Sunday, that essentially the "dust" that we are is the stuff of the universe, the same matter as supernovas and stars, glaciers and canyons, the very ground we stand on and air we breathe...the stuff, could it be....of God? "Remember that you are of God, and to God you will return." It was all I could do to hold back the tears as I looked into each face in this wonderful quirky bunch and traced on their heads a cross of ash to carry with them into the night as a reminder of how very much they are loved.

3 comments:

Barbara B. said...

awesome thoughts!
(the "dust" that we are is indeed the stuff of the universe!)

writing as eliza said...

this brought tears to my eyes. especially your meditation about the nature of dust. I'm almost glad I didn't realize that on Wednesday night, or I might not have been able to keep my own tears back.

Remember that you are of God, and to God you shall return... beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Thank you for this!

Grace thing said...

Our Lents our full of synchronicity and i LOVE that. Yes, we are the stuff of stars and canyons and supernovas. yes. Blessings to you on your Lenten journey of trust and submission...I will hold you with me on mine.