Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent 1 (Ash Wednesday)

Timeless God, You without beginning or end:
Do you know how hard it is to begin?
Especially such a beginning as Ash Wednesday,
this odd day of mortality and palm dust, this
celebration (of a sort) with pungent remnants
of the previous year's Alleluias
mixed with oil to somehow convey
"Live carefully, faithfully, before the grass withers"
...which isn't great encouragement to begin at all
(I mean, really!)
especially when a single day is a mountain in itself, and
a cause for justice against the ridiculous & powerful is a tsunami,
and how does one even begin against that
with ashes on your forehead marking you,
naming you for the fleeting moment that you are?
for the fleeting moment that I am?
. . . . .
Somehow, this Ash Wednesday,
I pray for the grace to feel empowered
rather than helpless or threatened
by these ashes, and by
this momentary life.

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