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On Ash Wednesday

“ashes to ashes / dust to dust
in dying, we rise”


I’ve never observed Lent before.

I shrugged it off as unnecessary, a sort of overly-religious performance, or at least the strange practice of a liturgical spirituality that I did not claim as my own.

But the truth is — I was unwilling to die.

I thought there was a way to outsmart winter, dodge pain, avoid death. I thought there was a way to have Sunday without Friday, Easter without Lent. I was wrong.

So this year I’m kicking out the crutches, tossing the painkillers, and embracing whatever Lent has for me. I don’t know what that is.

All I know is that I’m a fool if I think I can run from pain, and a liar if I tell myself that I can have resurrection without death.

And God, I want resurrection.


published February 19, 2015

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