Poetry April 19: Ash Wednesday during Easter

I know I know Ash Wednesday was a long time ago.  We are supposed to be in Easter season.  Except that my heart is not in Easter.  My heart is in Cambridge, MA a city I loved and lived in for 3 years and my heart is in the chaos and challenge of housing and living and dealing with it all...

Sean shared this with me on Ash Wednesday and then it didn't mean as much as now.  So because I don't want to lose this poem and because this is where I am at...here you go.

From a woman, minister and blogger named Jan Richardson

Blessing the Dust

A Blessing 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


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