“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
This Ash Wednesday, I’m thinking about that dust, formed to flesh, housing the Imago Dei within us. I’m thinking about the body, about the mystery of our breath and organs and the beating of our hearts. I’m thinking about the fragility of what it means to be human, what it means to bruise and bleed and break. & I’m blessing the bodies, all of them, in all the ways they are strong and all the ways they are little more than dust. This blessing is for the bodies that sweat and flush, for the bodies that pump blood and oxygen in those hidden places, the mystery that keeps us alive.
This blessing is for the bodies that are sick, that are weak, that are ill, that struggle to breathe.
This blessing is for the bodies that are Black and brown and queer, for the bodies that are disabled, the bodies that are tired.
This blessing is for the bodies that expand and take up space, and it is for the bodies that shrink and grow smaller. It is for the bodies that are scarred, the bodies that have grown life, the bodies whose wombs are still blessed should they not bear children, whether by circumstance or choice.
This blessing is for the bodies who love to move, and it is for the bodies that cannot move because of chronic pain. This blessing is for the bodies that bleed, bodies that break, bodies that cough and sneeze. It’s for bony bodies that feel the gnaw of hunger, it’s for bodies in cages and in prison cells and on death row. It’s a blessing for bodies that hurt and bodies that need to rest and bodies with missing limbs, bodies that are diseased and bodies that are dirty.
We are dust, and we will return to dust. But in the meantime, let us remember that our God came to us in a human body, so this skin and bones of ours has to mean something, don’t you think? In the beginning, we were dust, and then we were bodies—and God called us very good.
May you be blessed today, friends.