A Mother’s Prayer for Ash Wednesday
God of Ash Wednesday,
whose hands first gathered dust to create us,
whose Spirit breathed new life into brittle bones,
whose fingers traced the sand to save a sinner,
take the dirt of my life—
the tempers lost,
the doors slammed,
the complaints muttered,
the harsh words thrown,
the dark doubts seethed—
take all these flaws and failings
and burn them blazing in the fire of forgiveness.
Gather the dust that lingers,
the ashes streaked across your healing hands,
and trace the ancient cross once again across my forehead.
Press its humbling love deep into my mind and heart,
let it sink into my soul
reminding me that life is fleeting as the dark gray dust.
And when I see the same stark sign of sin and death
marked on the soft faces of my children,
let me breathe in the beauty of now,
this present we have together,
this gift of a life shared
no matter how dark or dry it sometimes seems.
Let the touch of another’s hand
on my bowed head
remind me of resurrection,
of hope and promise
that we are mere dust
and yet more—
beloved in your eyes,
our chins cupped in your hands
with a parent’s loving touch,
our faces traced by the same fingers
that forever bear the prints
of every ashen life they touch.
Copyright © 2013 Laura Kelly Fanucci.