change, gratitude, jan richardson, lent, liturgical


…did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

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…

Oh, Jan Richardson, you get me every time.


With the encouragement of my friend Cassie, I’m going to try to write each day in Lent. However, if I don’t have something to say, I’m not going to write just to say “I wrote everyday in Lent.” So, we’ll see how this goes!


Today marks a new day.
Today marks a new month.
Today marks a new season in the church year.


Today I will be marked with ashes. Not because I’m sinful, although I am. Not because I fail, although that’s true. Not because I’m dying, although I am. Today I will be marked with ashes to be reminded of God’s commitment to me. A commitment that remains steadfast through life and death, through joy and pain, through it all. Today I will be marked because I’m loved, because God remembers me.

This Lent will be a new journey for me – one filled with hope and disappointment; one filled with transition and steady persistence; one filled with new life and letting go. So actually, maybe this isn’t a new journey at all. The date is different, the people may be different, the circumstances may be different, but I’ve been through this before. This is nothing new. I can trust that through the changes and the steadfastness God will be with me. God will be walking next to me, hand-in-hand, eager to see the steps I choose to take and urging me down particular paths, paths unknown to me, but well-traveled by God.

I am marked. I am grateful.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to
sustain me.
-Psalm 51:10-12



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