Stardust (Ashes to Ashes)

Stardust

“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

Don’t forget you came from dust. 

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Stardust. Don’t forget where you came from. You came from the Earth–the stuff that makes up everything.

Tonight, I got to help impose ashes for Ash Wednesday. For the first time, during a pandemic, alongside one of my dearest friends–the woman who first taught me how precious it is to be human and dust on this day and who introduced me to my wife. 

Drive through ashes because this is our life now. It’s all so raw and so human.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust

I repeated these words while tracing a cross on the foreheads of my friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen in almost a year. Their eyes closed while receiving a blessing and a reminder of their humanity…a moment of peace in a world full of chaos.

I have the faces of these loved ones embedded in my memory now. I don’t want to forget how precious it is to connect with other human beings.

We’re all connected to each other, to the Earth, to this dirt and dust beneath our feet and all around us. We are all connected and we all belong to one another.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. 

Amen.

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