Dust to Dust

Zoe still goes to bed too early to make it through an evening Ash Wednesday service, so I haven’t yet had the gift and burden of tracing an ashy cross on her forehead and saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

But every day, Zoe reminds me of that simple fact.  When I look at her, I see the big girl she is becoming and also the little baby she will always be in my heart.  I see how she is growing and changing and living, and I know that, as the chilling short story I read in Spanish class lo these many years ago melodramatically put it, “every step she takes is a step closer to death”.  (Mortality, man.  What can you do?)

But every night, I trace a cross on Zoe’s forehead, just as I did in her baptism.  I remind her, and myself, that she is a child of God.  She is beloved.  She is marked not just for death but for new life in Christ.

If you’re getting your ash on today, remember not only that you are dust but also that you are God’s.  You belong to the one who brings light from darkness, order from chaos, and life from death.

And whether you’re getting your ash on or not, take a moment today and give thanks for your dusty self.  For your breath, your body, your precious life.



Filed under Ministry Matters, Your Moment of Zoe

4 responses to “Dust to Dust

  1. Amy

    Oh, I am definitely getting my ash on. Thanks for the beautiful reminder! -amy


  2. I don’t belong to a denomination that follows a liturgical calendar. I have never had the pleasure or burden of being reminded every year of my own mortality.

    But, I am a homeschool mom. So, every year, our home gets ready for Passion week. Last year we concentrated on the story of Israel and their slavery… there redemption price, the blood of the lamb. We had a Last Supper Seder like meal, talked of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

    I don’t have energy for this year. I am starting to wish I belonged to a church with a more liturgical calendar.


    • It sounds like you have a great tradition in your own family, Julie! It is a lot of work in addition to all the regular teaching and parenting and household stuff. Maybe you could just borrow a more liturgical church for the season, and see if there are midweek and Holy Week worship or educational opportunities that would be meaningful for your family? I do love the liturgy (as you can tell), and it is especially wonderful at this time of year.

      Thanks for reading and sharing!


  3. Pingback: Black Thumb | Never Done It That Way Before

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