So this morning as we were leaving the drive of our house my six year old asked me a very important spiritual question, “Does mommy water our plants?” Well knowing about my wife’s lack of a chlorophyll colored thumb I gave the discretionary answer of, “probably not”. But I had to measure his concern. You see he was able with his aunt’s help to by my wife some tulips for Valentines day and I know he just wanted them to last a little longer…to be honest I am surprised they have lasted this long. But then it almost heartless fashion I added, “But to tell you the truth son, flowers die. That’s what they do. They are beautiful and fragile.”
Segue into Ash Wednesday. Isn’t that a beautiful picture of where our heads and hearts should be on this day the ushers in the Lenten season? God has made us into His image and placed within us the beautiful image of His Son and the gift of reconciliation. And at the same moment we are made of dust. We are insanely fragile. James 4:14 puts it this way, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” So inside this fragile shell which is here today and gone tomorrow God himself inhabits us for His glory. How much more amazing does that make this season.
You see for centuries Lent has been a time of recognizing our mortality and our dependency upon God for all things. So we empty ourselves for forty days. It may be of something simple like TV time or Soda, or it could be something more difficult like Facebook (tongue in cheek). But whatever the case may be we limit ourselves in some form or fashion in order to allow more space for God. After all, it is He who makes this mortal existence beautiful. It is He who transforms our dust shell with His breath. So maybe this Lenten season you are able to truly reflect on the Church’s cry of remembrance and recognize the beauty in our fragility, “Remember Mortal thou are dust and to dust you shall return.”