Either way I love this slow and sad day. It's a sadness that marks the shadows and valleys of life and instead of diminishing or avoiding them - embraces death wholly and if even so bold to mark its presence with a mark on our foreheads. Ash Wednesday and Lent is a time to be honest about our vulnerability and limits. This marking of who we actually are is important, and good, and sad - and probably why I love this melancholy day.
As Lent has begun for 2015 I think it will be a time of relenting for me. Relenting seeking something-anything more. Relenting from being better, seeking perfection and longing for someone to see something special in me.
This Lent I pray for the grace to embrace my humanity - unique, growing, and lovely - but by no means perfect. I am human. From dust I came and to dust I shall return.
God help me to rest as this imperfect person. Help me to be like bread dough patiently waiting in a blue Pyrex bowl. Cozily on pause and covered by a muslin cloth. Relenting while rising -becoming something that can be kneaded by the hands of God to be someone - an imperfect and lovely someone - that can be a vessel for feeding others - in their own imperfect yet lovely state.
We are ashes, we are resting bread dough, we are imperfect - but perfectly loved by a God who really knows each lovely lump of clay.
Lent is a very good place to rest.
Thank you God for Ash Wednesday and this time to relent from rushing to rest and eventually rise again.
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