Reflections from the Ash Heap
Ashes and suffering hold hands. They love each other it seems. Job, in his grief, sat down in ashes and rubbed them on his pain. In his suffering, ashes were his friends. In a way, he loved the ashes more than his life. It was his way of saying, " I am really suffering here and ashes are all I have at the moment." He made them his own.
This morning when I arose, my ashes were gone. Of course, I had washed them off the previous night. But I wanted them to be there. I felt their residue, and I took their memory with me when I left the house. I can't say exactly why I wanted them to remain, but vaguely it had to do with love.
Love of my ashy self, my suffering self, my grieving self. Love for all the ashy people in my sphere of an ash heap, for those painfully ashy patients I visit at the hospital, for my burdened ashy directees, for my ashy family and friends. Ashes remind me that suffering matters. It matters to those who talk about their suffering, it matters to me, and it matters to God.
We all sit in the ash heap together and hold hands in the suffering.