His concerned eyes fasten to my forehead, then dart to those of his siblings with growing alarm. Slowly, he reaches up to touch his own, only to draw back fingers, blackened. He holds his toddler hand up to me and says “mess!”
I’m in a back pew with my four little dust mites. That’s what we are, that’s what we believe, and its written in soot on our foreheads. Dusty, dirty, messy people. We splashed here through the rain and fog because we are drawn to the mystery of something so backwards, so nonsensical in our minds that it requires a second look. I take his hand in mine and sing:
"Thus might I hide my blushing face while his dear cross appears; dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears."
I am a mess. A charred, burned up, filthy mess. As I blunder through this life, each day ending with regrets, I know that I don’t have it all figured out. For me, that is oddly comforting.
I am a mess. A charred, burned up, filthy mess.
So often this story we are living defies common wisdom. There is so much that we just cannot understand or explain. But then that upside down God comes along and shows us how His ways are not ours. And we can trust, because we’ve heard this story before:
Perfect God-man dying to save dust mites, to refine and turn them into glittering golden glories. It makes no sense. Still He weaves His beautiful tapestry together and reveals, in His time, His heart for us.
Perfect God-man dying to save dust mites, to refine and turn them into glittering golden glories.
Gently He takes us, ashes scattered to the wind, and cradles us close. Woos our blackened, wooden hearts. Reminds us that this, all of it, is a gift. For us, from Him. Free of charge. I’m melting into a puddle of gratitude, and no amount of Lenten sacrifice could make up for the upside down, unconditional love I’m shown every day.
No amount of Lenten sacrifice could make up for the upside down, unconditional love I’m shown every day.
We drive home, rain streaming down windows. Despite the ashes, I feel clean–whole. Tomorrow we will wake with washed faces, wrapped in the knowledge that True Love makes no sense. I clasp the impossible mystery close, believing the miracle.
“The love that shed His blood for all the world to see. This must be the reason for it all.”