Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Ash Wednesday

You are my hiding-place; you preserve me from trouble;
   you surround me with shouts of deliverance.  Psalm 32:8

The morning dawns cold and I burrow into my prayer shawl seeking warmth. This winter has been hard--its own kind of wilderness with drifting snow and fluid ice presenting a constantly changing landscape not unlike shifting desert sands.

The bright daylight outside my window arriving earlier each day assures me that spring must come. And the birds, impossibly chirping in the frigid air, confidently announce deliverance from winter’s grip.

In my home and in my soul I have hidden from the storms in the safety of prayer and refuge. But now the Holy One coaxes me out with icy sunshine and optimistic birdsong into the morning of ashes. I will mark my forehead and I will set my foot upon the path even while the snow and cold linger, trusting that warmth and green lushness and new life await. I lift my face to remember I am dust and greet with welcome the juncture of despair and hope. Willingly, because I have been here before, I enter into another wilderness in search of the life I know can be found.

copyright © Anne E. Kitch 2014