Oh, Michigan…

Ash Wednesday

Image Description: Ashes in the shape of a cross on a white background.

Well, if this isn’t the Michiganiest thing I’ve ever heard:

Tonight, my Ash Wednesday service has been rescheduled for Ash Thursday due to inclement weather.

I learned this last night and had a good laugh about it. I love it. Ash Thursday will be a first in my life. Stay tuned, since I may also blog about it!

But for today, I’d like to share a beautiful poem from Jan Richardson. My good friend Pepa Paniagua shared this on social media this morning, and I’d love to pass it along. May this speak into any particular situation, need, or hope you have:

Blessing the Dust
For Ash Wednesday

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners

or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—

did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.

This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are

but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.

—Jan Richardson, from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons



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