Friday, February 19, 2010

My most precious dust

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I was one of the people putting ashes on people's heads at church on Wednesday.  One by one adults and children in my line shuffled forward to receive their cross of ash.


Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

A cross in ash smeared in acknowledgment of humanities true powerlessness and our startling ability to mess up things over and over again.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

A cross in ash signifying that without God's grace we are no more from the dust which we came.

I said it again and again, all the while thinking of last year's Ash Wednesday.


Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember...

Swollen, sick, sicker than I knew.  I remember the 80 lbs of water on my frame. I remember lying on my left side, feeling all that water weight pool around me. The baby kicking his way away from the monitors.  The grim news that I couldn't do it much longer, that the numbers were too high.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember...

Trying to keep up the energy for my visitors.  Trying to be positive with the nurses. Trying to keep the numbers down and the baby safe for another day.


Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember...

A church family stopping by after Ash Wednesday services.  They brought communion and ashes for my forehead.  I remember those words...

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

...and I was aware for the first time in my life that they were more than just words.

I remember being afraid yet comforted.

I remember then next morning. "We've bought all the time we can, the numbers are all wrong, today's the day."  Then pain, confusion, chaos.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember strapped in a cross on a table.  The seriousness of the situation and the levity of a broken bed.  The joy of a cry, the sadness in the rush to the NICU, then suddenly I'm back in the room. Deflated, deflating, tired, pained, alone.


Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember...


Back to reality,

In another line my baby receives his own cross.  Last year we were together with one cross, this year two, yet still connected.

Such strange things to remember.  It hardly seems real a year later.

Over and over again I say it to others and it consumes me.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

And I thank God for the opportunity to hear it again.  There is such joy to hear it again.  I thank God for my most precious dust:

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I remember.

4 comments:

Robin said...

Liz, what a beautiful post. I can't imagine what a scary time this was for you last year and am so happy for you that you've come full circle. Lovely writing.

Emma said...

I've appreciated your Lenten reflections! I just wanted to let you know that I passed on a Beautiful Blog Award to you last night. Pass it on if you like!

Elizabeth said...

Wow! That was such beautifully written...it gives me chills.

Random Tangent said...

Breathtaking. you are pretty precious dust yourself.