let’s trade these ashes in for beauty.
There is beauty for ashes, that’s what He promises. I don’t always know what that looks like, the ashes sometimes are mounded so high, I fear the beauty will never reach me.
And what is this beauty, this unearthly beauty that we really can’t comprehend. What kind of beauty can replaces ashes: death, destruction, disease, depression, darkness.
This must really be blinding, covering a multitude, a million. This beauty.
“…provide for those who grieve in Zion– bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
Ashes are dust, and nothing can be made from them. You can’t mould them. And yet we were made from dust, a broken bone.
Ashes scatter in the wind, gone forever. Is that beauty? Watching the wind catch your child taken too soon? Seeing the grey of them sink into the sea, salt to the wound?
Ashes are the beginning, and they are earth’s end.
But they are not God’s end. His story is just beginning, because He promises good, healing, redemption. He promises beauty in the midst of this trash heap. He promises that when the season of suffering has passed, He will come to us like the rain. He will come.