Ashes and Water


On this Ash Wednesday, I have the honor of participating in an Ash Wednesday experience at our church. I often forget how important it is to worship not only in Spirit, but also embarking on the tangible—with acts that give focus to the greater meaning, visible examples of the unseen movement of the Spirit.

At my station, I pour water on open hands, and I recite the words:

“You are called out of the water and into the desert, go with the grace and peace of God.”

Do you ever reflect on your baptism? Do you ever consider that we left the water to enter the desert? I never have. I often think I am suppose to be living as if I entered fertile soil of belief after washing away the sin. Which, of course, is true. But so is entry to the desert—not just during Lent, but during our seasons on this earth.

While I find peace beyond understanding on this side of the font, and I see fruit bear witness to God’s hand in my life and the lives of others, I am often desert-walking—in spaces and attitudes and pressures that try and steal the peace, snatch the fruit, stab my heart with disbelief.

Entering Lent on Ash Wednesday is a good reminder that I traverse Life’s deserts with triumph only as I look ahead to Resurrection. If I quiet my heart enough, if I lean into God during the thirst and the sandy storms encountered by desert-walking, and if I walk in the examples of is in the wilderness—the desert— that I find God’s voice.

Thirst quenched, storm at peace. Heart expectant for Christ Risen.

I leave the water of Baptism to fill my life with the Living Water. I leave the water and enter the desert.

I am still just dust.

Sustained only by Him.

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