Ash Wednesday, and leaning in to life

by Helen Holter

Ash Wednesday: not a day for giving up, but for leaning in to life.

As well, the anniversary of my dad’s sudden death three years ago:

Ash Wednesday

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


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