The morning after Ash Wednesday I noticed a grey stain remained on my thumb. How many foreheads did I touch making a cross with ashes freshly made from last year’s palm crosses? ‘Remember you are dust and to dust you will return.’ Those words remain with me just as the mark remains on my thumb. We are mortal, human. We mess up, turn again to God, and rise again.
During these holy days of Lent, we are given the opportunity to set aside normal routines to make more time for the Holy One. I love the freedom the season provides inviting us to push away the excess in our lives. Space and time simplify things. Space and time allows us the freedom to play with a new way of praying, more time to read spiritual works, focus our lives on good deeds, ponder our relationship with God and neighbour.
After a few days we may forget our promises to self, but the stain of the ashes remain. ‘You are dust and to dust you shall return.’ One life, one baptism, one Lord. May we live this one life, centered on all that is good, holy, and just – our God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.