As if the grey brush strokes of the Creator’s hand had covered all in my view the color of ash. Dressing for the service last evening at 5:30 I changed time after time, an uneasiness in my appearance and in the body. My sin. I decide on silvery gray top, loose and forgiving, hiding. Choosing my place in the pew I rest alone in the quiet. The air is grey-quiet. Early I have time to gaze out the window, like a school child bored with the lesson. Gazing into the achromatic space. Gray pavement, path of dull palor winds through shadows for walkers.
Resting, waiting, my eyes park on a slate grey barked trunk and spanish moss blowing under a charcoal sky. A sky in morning suit smokey gray, moss dressed in her drab granite hue. And moss slings and swings and blows. God-breathed breezes swinging her as she gives into His direction, His orchestration of her moves. And silhouette of dull gray squirrel. Hovering hungry. White knuckling the branch to secure and anchor his small frame. Savoring putty brown nut.
And the shades and tones of everything are a cracked open peppery gray.
The condition of my heart is laid open on the table, paces from the cross, steps from the alter. Slit open before God. Its time. Its time for this season.
Ash. Dust. Ash. More gray.
And the words from the pulpit breathe life, expectancy and invitation. This forty day period of making space for God and coming clean brings hope. The power and potential of God, the Mercy Deliver and Grace Giver, when we make room and invite and expect are exceedingly miraculous. But first an honest assessment of the heart condition. A bent and bowed down profile, humbled, sin-aware, ashen gray forehead kneeled before Him in His sanctuary
And a bible study follows the service where fellowship and relationship and the table comfort. The table. That coming together and partaking when hungry. Hungry for life and relationship and friendship and sustanance. Hungry to come clean, confess and be held account in a small body. With a small body of believers. And like the moss from the limb, relax and give way to the direction of the God-breathed wind. Give way to the Holy Spirit. The convicter, the comfoter, the healer. To be humbled and watch self fade and dim as He increases and shines light in the dark places. The gray shadow places of hiding and sin.
But aren’t I gray squirrel. Hovering hoarding gifts and whiteknuckling life not to lose my balance ,my way, my footing. Racing from limb to limb holding tight to what I have a this moment. Not lingering at table. Not claiming that Sabbath rest that only He gives. Heart racing, rapid pulse gray squirrel style.
And the Wednesdays will bring more of this without the smudge of ash. But its the days between the Sundays and the Wednesdays, the everyday. The sick child, the hurting friend, the broken relationship and the hungry heart hard days where I want Him to come into my gray space and paint it white. Then paint it Joy and paint it Grace. Infuse with the Easter colors. Hot pink and lavendar and life colors. But first the smudge of ash, the battleship gray ash.
And Thursday brings new Mercies. Gray fades a bit. And the light shines brightly through the blue sky day. Moss seems more green and stone colored today, dancing under the loving direction of His life-giving life-sustaining breath.