I’d like to tell the story of a girl who is traveling from practical atheism to a faith enlivened by the resurrected Christ. In this past year, particularly, I’ve encountered God, and I want to share that joy with others. I’ve experienced deep comfort in seasons of emotional and physical pain and a peace and hope that rests on Christ’s conquering of sin and death and the whole world. I want others to know how God has been near to me, and I don’t want to forget. There are always times, really, more often than not, that I cannot trust in God’s presence or direction in my life, so let this story be a record for my encouragement, and for yours.
I chose “Ashes, indeed,” because Ashes is my name, and ashes are how I picture my life apart from God. On Ash Wednesday, you and I are called to “remember that we are but dust.” But as the ashes are smeared cross-shaped on our foreheads, we are reminded to “repent and believe the gospel.” What is the gospel? Resurrection. A living being made from the dust of the earth. God gave Ezekiel the picture of parched bones in a dusty desert growing sinew and flesh and being filled again with God’s breath of life. I am a pile of dry bones, of dust and ashes. Watch me come to life.