The Memory of Ashes

IMG_1776I woke early this morning wondering about doubt; turning doubt itself this way and that way in my heart. And I felt again the importance of practices.  On Wednesday night in worship I said these words:
Dust you are and to dust you will return.
Love’s you are and to love you will return.

I traced the cross on foreheads with recalcitrant ashes.  The crosses were not perfect but each one felt holy, each person holy.

This is an ancient practice. It pulls us into a place so dark that when we find ourselves breathing still within it, still, in that dark fundament, within the reach of love; we are freed from fear.  And we are whole.  This morning when I woke wondering about doubt, I reached for this; the memory of ashes on a companion’s forehead; the memory of ashes drawn on mine.

This recollection didn’t fix anything.  But it did give me hope.  It did again set me free.

I hope for you a practice constant and deep enough to call you to your truest self;  a practice to hold you, free.

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