I sat in church last night, awaiting the imposition of ashes on my forehead and contemplating my mortality.
From dust you came, and to dust you shall return.
Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
I sat in silence, trying to examine my own heart and my need for forgiveness and redemption, and my thoughts inevitably strayed to the news reports of the day. More than 15 Florida high school students killed in a shooting at the end of their school day. On Valentine’s Day.
On Ash Wednesday.
I woke up this morning to the continuing investigative reports. The death toll at 17. The grief, the anger, the disbelief, the depair. The numbness.
I got out of bed. I showered, I brewed coffee, I drove to work. I greeted my co-workers.
I settled in at my desk, I powered up my computer, and I opened my email.
Lent Readings Day 2: Thursday Feb 15
I read this:
1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.
12 The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.
16 Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.
18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will remain forever;
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.