You see her there, tattered clothes, dirty feet bare and worn. Her journey is a broken one, her past that familiar blanket of regret. Her fists clench tight holding on to the only thing that remains-ashes.
She approaches the throne and falls to her face. She lets go of what remains; watches the ashes fall at His feet. His scarred hand runs through dark ash and marks the joyous blessing of grace on her face. She looks up, searching for her reflection in His eyes. You look for it too, you are watching, sounds of festive praise sounding now. And wonder of wonders, the face reflected back now wears a crown of beauty.
The face reflected back is you.
A once-beautiful in-ground pool sits at the back of the property. A shadow now of what once was.
We are certainly east of Eden now and I am desperate to make it back to the Garden. I look into water the color of ash and I ache for a savior who transforms, knowing that the surrender must come first. I don’t sense surrender here. I can feel the struggle of a dying place trying to hold on to what little remains. That is the hardest part, is it not? Realizing the fire has come and gone and you must now surrender the ashes, when you have already lost so much and ash is all that remains.
My faith is a demanding faith and my love a demanding love. I refuse to be separated from Him. So I reach for His hand and find Him there. I lean into Him. He knows me.
We look together into the ashy water and I envision beauty because I know the grace that transforms. The grace that follows surrender.
My child plays among the ruins while I pray for grace, holding hands with the Grace-Giver. I ache to surrender all, seeing my reflection in that murky water, that no part of me should go unredeemed, left to rot and die away. I search my pockets for traces of ash to exchange for a beauty all can see.
“Take, it please. Take it all,” I plead.
Give Him your ashes, my friend.
Abandoned and falling down? Barely holding on? Aching for transformation? Give Him your ashes.
For grace the you so desperately seek always follows surrender.