Last year in Austin, Chris was away for work and I couldn’t get myself together to get the boys to the service and forfeit our baby’s bedtime, knowing I’d spend the whole service nursing and hushing.
That afternoon, after August woke from nap time, I took leaves burned them in a pan in the backyard. And I marked myself. I said, “Micha, you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
It felt like most of my moments of personal prayer: distracted, not quite complete, the little boy playing cars around me.
“I want ashes too,” August said.
“Okay, but this is only something we do if we are serious. It’s not a game. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” he said and sat before me on the deck.
“It’s to remind us that we have broken hearts that only Jesus can fix.”
Then, as a priest-mama, no different than any other day I have held up Gospel and broken bread before my boys, I sealed my son with ashes. I called him to some future repentance he could never then understand. I marked him with the cross, a stumbling block for some, foolishness to others. Or to us, there in the backyard, a symbol of wholeness, a symbol that everything sad will come untrue.
I reminded August (and myself) that his life is ashes.
And like that, our service was over. He was back on the grass with his cars, a mess of a cross on his forehead.
Will you join me and read the rest over at A Deeper Church today?