Ashes

It’s Ash Wednesday, and my thoughts turn to Job, sitting on his pile of ashes, scratching himself.  The big deal about Job is that his suffering didn’t make sense to him (or to anyone reading his story).  And it always frustrated me that his questions never got answered.  Job gets the same response that my 7-year-old sometimes gets from me:

“Because I said so, that’s why.  I love you, but please stop asking.”

As a parent, I know that it’s not always possible to give a satisfactory explanation to a child.  So intellectually, I understand how Father just sometimes has to say: “Trust me on this one.”

Jesus is the only one who ever really said “OK Dad, I know you’ve got my back.”  Confronted with that, I come face to face with my distrust in my Father. 

My faith is ashes. 

Blows away in the slightest breeze.

Today, with a smear of gray schmutz on my forehead, I acknowledge the ashfulness of my much-vaunted faith.  But inside this acknowledgement is the proclamation that my glorious-as-ashes faith is not what binds Father to me.  “I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God” (Gal 2.20).  There is a knowing, an accurate knowing, a FAITHFUL knowing between Son and Father in the Spirit.  A faith and a faithfulness that is not ashes.

~ John Stonecypher

1 comment so far

  1. tjbrassell on

    You share in such a gift of the Spirit in being able to say something so Gospel profound in so few words! I would only add to your last sentence…”and in which YOU, John, are included in Jesus’ mercy!” Ha-Ha! Thanks for this thoughtful and relational post!


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