Ashes…not dirt

March 5, 2014 7 Comments

“Ma’am, you have dirt on your head.”

Ahh yes. It never fails. Every year on Ash Wednesday I hear something similar. Every year. When I was a kid, I remember I would bee-line into the bathroom at Holy Name of Jesus School to quickly scrub my ashes off. I mean…someone could see me with dirt on my head! (Even though there were 700 other kids who had “dirt” on their head)

I never really “got it” until I grew up.

“Remember you are dust and as dust you shall return.” That’s the moment I get chills. It’s a humbling reminder of life. And here I am on another Ash Wednesday, being given ANOTHER second chance by God to “do right.” A new year. A clean slate.

I got a little emotional in the pew today. No wait…let me re-phrase that…I had tears streaming down my face. Images and moments of this past year kept flashing in my mind.  It was a tough year. A roller coaster. The highs were unbelievable! But the lows were devastating and unbearable. Thoughts of my beloved grandmother and uncle overwhelmed me.

I found this description of Ash Wednesday that sums it up in real-world talk.

“I’m a sinner. I don’t always love God as strongly as I could or as directly as I should. Ash Wednesday reminds me that it is only through God that I have life; He gave it to me.  Ash Wednesday also begins my preparation for Holy Week and the Passion and Resurrection of my Lord, Jesus, without Whom I have no life here and no chance at eternal life in Heaven. This is just a great opportunity for me to get better. God forgives. He loves. And He gives this sinner a second chance.”



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  1. kris says:

    Glad you share this on your blog!

  2. Mary says:

    How very well said. Your last paragraph says it all. Blessings to you!!

  3. Anne says:

    Beautiful words, Amanda! Thank you!

  4. Pam says:

    Very well said, something to think about.

  5. Anne says:

    Heartfelt words, thank you, Amanda!

  6. Chris says:

    a very well stated statement!! A modern day way of explaining the meaning. Love It

  7. Anne says:

    inspiring words, Amanda! Thank you!

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