FOR ASH WEDNESDAY

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Shall the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness, O God?

 

Children of dust—scooped up, fashioned, inbreathed, enlivened,

Cherished and wooed, drawn near, tasting and seeing the One who

Is good, tasting and knowing joy unspeakable and full of glory.

 

Surely the dust praised you and declared your faithfulness, O God!

 

Then, taking but one forbidden taste which, though shiny and alluring,

Sweet and beckoning, promised forfeiture of taste itself, a dulling of

All other good, and a draining of glory leaving them again but dust.

 

Shall the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness, O God?

 

Children of dust—fallen from glory, estranged from the Presence, turning

Self from self, dis-integrating and de-composing, drawn into complicities

Unwittingly suffering the genocidal ashes of Auschwitz, Chernobyl, 9/11 …

 

Shall the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness, O God?

 

Then, the One enthroned over all stoops lovingly downward, earthward

Inhabiting ash heaps everywhere, neighboring the dust-dwellers, bearing

Golgotha’s tree, embracing death’s dust, transforming tomb to womb!

 

The dust shall praise you and declare your faithfulness, O God!

 

Children of dust now draw near, receive the mark of heaven’s descent,

Of love’s exchange of death for life—the dust of death as sign of

Glory’s garland once again enwrapping children of the Beloved.

 

Yes, the dust shall praise you and declare your faithfulness, O God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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