Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Prayer for After Ash Wednesday

My friend Sharon Gould is a cancer fighter and so-far survivor. She was made a widow younger than most, so she's endured her portion of suffering. But her suffering doesn't define her, and that's one of the reasons I admire her.

She's a poignant and pointed person with a background in counseling. She's been a confidante and counselor to me and I watched her in action during Katrina relief, thankful that she was there to help the hurting and confused. She's an amazing lady, more so because she's raised two kids to adulthood without killing them.

She attended Ash Wednesday services at Willow Meadows where I preached the homily that is a post below this one. This is the prayer she composed after she wore the ashes and is allowing me to share with you:


Dear Lord,

Ashes across my forehead; don’t wash them off!
Forge them into my brain; tattoo them onto my skin.

After church
I wore the ashes to the supermarket, somewhat unconscious of their presence.
As I smiled and said “You first” to an exhausted mother balancing baby and groceries,
I was uncomfortably conscious of my ashes.
The condemning thought was the radical hurt to Christ if I had barged selfishly ahead,
ignoring her need, while wearing the ashes.

But Lord, I am always wearing the ashes; sometimes more live and conscious than others.

Thank you Jesus for the defining dust.
Perhaps I should daily dust your invisible ashes onto my forehead as reminder to show the world your cross of salvation and your light of love for everyone.

“After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied.” (Isaiah 53:11)

Humbly and gratefully,
Your child.

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