February 21, 2007

Remember that you are dust....

Like most feelings or thoughts I have surrounding cancer, it seems like this all started just yesterday, while at the same time, it feels like it all started a lifetime ago.

I wouldn’t change anything I have been through in the last two years. I have learned so much, grown so much and met so many new wonderful people. I would however trade the whole ordeal for a cure or at least assurance of twenty or thirty more years.
Our secretary at work had a relapse. I've moved her to the top of my prayer list, please try to make room for her on yours. Her story is incredibly sad. She's at home for awhile, when she returns I don't know that I can face her, I would be an emotional wreck.
It's Ash Wednesday and as we enter the Lenten season, I personally find myself more emotional. I find it a contradictory time of the year. Lent means 'spring' and with the coming of Lent the world returns to life and beauty. For example, now that all the snow and ice have melted, my hyacinths have broken ground. At the same time, we look forward to Easter and the celebration of the death of Jesus. He gave his life for us, what a selfless act. It's about life, it's about death.

Imagine this; constantly you run through these thoughts in your mind, you have cancer, you battle with it emotionally, physically day after day. Then at the Ash Wednesday service, as your forehead is marked with ash, these words are spoken to you; "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return".

Kind of makes me want to pray.

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, the all-holy one, who gives us life and all things. As we go about our lives, the press of our duties and activities often leads us to forget your presence and your love. We fall into sin and fail to live out the responsibilities that you have entrusted to those who were baptized into your Son.

In this holy season, help us to turn our minds and hearts back to you. Lead us into sincere repentance and renew our lives with your grace. Help us to remember that we are sinners, but even more, help us to remember your loving mercy.

As we live through this Ash Wednesday, may the crosses of ashes that mark our foreheads be a reminder to us and to those we meet that we belong to your Son. May our worship and prayer and penitence this day be sustained throughout these 40 days of Lent. Bring us refreshed and renewed to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

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