I’m Not Dust Yet! Honoring Mortality and Life on Ash Wednesday

“Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

When I was younger, I thought that phrase, whispered over my head each Wednesday, was the Church’s way of putting me in my place, “Don’t get all high and mighty, young lady; you’re just dirt.”

Now, I understand these words differently.  We are made of earth, dirt, in Hebrew: adama.  We’re cultivatable. “Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.” – Serbian Proverb

Here we are in the meantime: between dust and dust.
But, we’re not dust yet!

Here we are in the meantime: between dust and dust.

But, we’re not dust yet!

We’re alive to be doing the work of God now.  We’re not dust yet.  Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are alive and that this state is temporary.

In the meantime, between dust and dust: we love God, we love our neighbors, we work for the Kingdom of God, and we care for these bodies, these miraculous and strong, temporary and fragile bodies.

For the past several years, I have practiced an Ash Wednesday discipline of making sure my mortal body, and the bodies of those I care for (my kids and dogs), are taken care of.  Each Ash Wednesday I set aside time to make sure I have all of the health care appointments I need.

  • Primary Care Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Eye Doctor
  • Vet
  • Pediatrician
  • Dermatologist
  • Ob/Gyn
  • Counselor
  • Spiritual Director

I invite you to join me this Ash Wednesday (or on a convenient day after), in caring for our mortal bodies.  There’s a Kingdom of God to build here on earth and it is in heaven.  And, we’ll need these bodies strong for service!

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