Exciting! I have grown to love the global Christian call to fasting and prayer during the spring (Lent). Spring is a a reminder that winter’s cold darkness always turns to a new season. Having lived many years in the far north I know that even the arctic winter turns to life filled summer.
Until I understand the depth of winter’s challenge I wont’completely appreciate the spring and summer. Somehow the contrast is essential for understanding. Sort of like the value of the opposing digit, the thumb. Try a few minutes of hand work without the use of your thumbs. Quickly the opposing digit’s high value is realized.
Ash Wednesday has become the opposing digit to Resurrection Sunday. The ashes remind me that someday, unless I am taken in the rapture, i will die. Dead. Lifeless. Additionally, I will decompose and return to the earth from which my forefather, Adam, was formed. The death of our Lord reminds us that even the King of Glory died and I will too. The ashes are a somber prophecy of my possible future.
But it is also spring!
Ash Wednesday darkness is completely overcome by Resurrection brightness. He who was dead is alive forevermore.
Feeling the weight of Ash Wednesday is okay if you also sense the upcoming Resurrection celebration.
Consider this poem by Danette Kettwich,
A walk in the woods this warm spring day,
Brings me into Your presence as I walk along the way.
The warm damp breeze has me breathless as I,
Take in creation awakening right before my eyes.
The oak as its branches are raised in rigidity,
Reminds me to raise my praise to You, Your majesty.
A downy white feather floats softly to the ground,
Reminds me of all the blessings this day has found.
The ferns and the moss have awakened from their slumber.
And I am reminded of Your return as I hear the distant thunder.
A storm that is impending, the rapidly darkening skies,
Reminds me to be thankful, for every season of life.