out of the ashes

today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, when Christians round the world will try to purge their appetites of hard candy sweets and learn to crave, again, the bread of life.


it’s a day for giving things up.


but those ashes, they  speak symbol in so many ways, and i’m left envisioning how we all walk – every single day – with gray marks of sorrow grazed upon our foreheads.  how we all carry, ready in memory, the moments in our lives when we crumbled broken and spilled upon the ground.


we who are made of clay are so easily broken … and  the masking tape idols of stuff, of busy, of diversion are as futile as all the king’s horses and all the king’s men at putting us back together again.



and so i’m thankful for the Word that speaks truth for all seasons:  for stories of Job and of Daniel and others who, from the ashes, cried out.


cried out – not to painkillers or television or empty religion – but to the very God who breathed spirit into dust, the Creator who loves because  His name is Love.


the God who always – always – answers the call of the brokenhearted. Who rolls away the stone, and pulls us from death’s grip … out of ashes and into joy unspeakable.


if you find yourself in ashes today, take courage:  Easter is Coming.