Ash Wednesday, Lent


Lent began in the evening for me 16 musicians, 2 pastors and 15 sheep gathered to receive ashes and share Communion. I have the envelope to prove it, where the Deacon for the evening described us that way in pencil.

It's the first of many markers on the way. My colleague spoke of markers in his meditation last night, and I thought of the Lents past that held difficult life markers. This time last year we lived in a state of heightened tension as I wondered worriedly where I would work next at the same time Snowman flew back and forth across the country to audition at conservatories, as we wondered if #1 Son would ever find regular employment to support his acting, as Pure Luck's work schedule meant he could not get home from mid-February until almost the end of June, and laid over all of that the beginning of a year where none of our usual markers would include Molly. 

Dust you are, and to dust you shall return.

It's been almost ten years since I met Pure Luck–that anniversary comes this summer–and I remember reading an essay he had written about meaning and where we come from, focused on the Big Bang. It hadn't been that long since the neo-Pagan school head of Very Little Princess's Montessori school had created controversy by teaching the Big Bang to the preschoolers. Her flock included two clergy children beyond my seminarian's child. How could she know, the two clergymen begged her pardon, how could she be sure that God was not the source of the Big Bang?


This is an old "Astronomy Picture of the Day," a resource Pure Luck goes to for desktop images. He wrote something in that first piece of writing he sent to me about how that first explosion sent dust across the cosmos, stardust that formed everything, that is still part of us and everything.

Dust I are, and to dust I will return.

I suspect my colleagues, engaged with the Montessori teacher who taught the children to sing, "The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water…return, return, return, return," believed in an anthropomorphic God who organized the Creation in some narrative fashion, with the focus on Earth and Man, if you know what I mean. It's hard to have a relationship with a God who is so far away, a God who is, in essence, the Big Bang. 

"I think of God as a Big Ball of Love," said the famous theologian Little Princess, then age 8 or so. We say that God is Love, and sometimes I think Love is God. That's still a little distant, but at least it feels warm.

But there are times when I appreciate the awe required to worship the Creator of all the magnificence without worrying about how important we are to It, whether we are to be cosseted by a Heavenly Parent with Magnificent Bosom or Unending Arms to Hold us. 

Stardust we are, and to stardust we will return.


You can find more posts about Ash Wednesday and Lent at Christian Century Blogs and linked in the comments of this post at RevGalBlogPals.

7 thoughts on “Stardust”

  1. Oh! So beautiful and helpful and real. God is magnificent and sometime’s that it. Amen.

  2. We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
    Love this.

  3. mb! That’s been running through my head for two days! i didn’t dare put it in my Ash Wednesday meditation…!
    And Songbird… Libana! It’s been such a long time, and I love that album so!
    What a lovely post. Thank you.

  4. we are the stuff of stars. thank you for this post. thanks for mentioning the awe.

  5. indeed. I love the part about the AWE required to worship our Creator…and that Love is God, distant, but warm.
    I needed this post this very morning.
    Am grateful to you and your writing muses.

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