Flesh and Bone

We cue up; wait to offer brow for this sacred facepainting.

I stand behind Jeffrey, watch as Pastor-friend rubs blackened thumb across fair fore…

when I hear these words.

From dust you came and to dust you shall return, Jeffrey.”

These words.

And his name.

Terror seizes my heart.

Lump creeps up to throat.

Eyes…eyes begin to see.

We are only flesh and bone.

I want to fall to my knees, beat my breast, and tear this cloth that binds me, so I will be free—free to sob and wail and writhe in the pain of my guilt and sorrow.

We are only flesh and bone.

“We enter into Lent as a people who know the entire story…”

Pastor-friend breathes hope into these dry bones.

Yes. Yes!

There is more to this story. Lent is the journey to the cross—and to the resurrection beyond.

But as we drive through dense night, stars light up other skies…for dark clouds move like mountains in the sky.

And sorrow lingers.

I feel it—heavy–fall over me, weighting down my chest, filling my eyes with these tears.

Such grace.

Such grace.

Such awesome grace.

How does one comprehend such grace?

How does one hold out hands to take this,

this soul-freeing—chain-breaking—death-swallowing—love-inspiring—



We are only flesh and bone.

From dust we came.

To dust we will return.

But that will not be our final destination.

This journey breaks me…

As it should.

This grace is mine to hold in my hands.

I coddle it close, hold it tenderly.

And wear these ashes on my head.


  1. says

    wonderful post. I have never participated in Ash Wednesday nor Lent. thank you for the glimpse. My heart was heavy to learn about this season and did research on it last week. I understand your words that you painted here. It hurts to know what a price was paid to redeem my soul back to my maker.

    God bless you friend, and Praise God that He rose again and made a way for this dying world.

    Nite, Deanna

  2. says

    Such a beautiful post, Laura! You go right to the core, or rather, He speaks to us through you and goes right to the core! No matter how you look at it, I’m thankful to you, and on my knees in thankfulness to Him. Hope you’re having a wonderful day. All is well here – thanks for your thoughts… N xx

  3. says

    What joy it is that we do know the “rest of the story”! “from dust we came. To dust we will return. But that will not be our final destination.” Amen!

  4. says

    I got ashes on my forehead last night too. I want to keep the mark of what Jesus did for me every day in my heart. We are flesh and bone now but one sweet day…..
    Journeying with all the family to the cross. B

  5. says

    Beautiful,” This grace is mine to hold in my hands”
    Love that! Prayers that those who are so lost and so in need of grace will find it. Keep sharing your beautiful words as God has gifted you to do it to His glory!

    He is Good! He is Risen!


  6. says

    This is my first visit to your blog. You obviously have the heart of a poet! I love the way you express yourself and shed light on the truth of God. I will be back for sure.

  7. says

    “This journey breaks me……..”
    His beautiful grace…..that saved a wretch like me……..

    Thank you for stirring my appreciation for His wonderful, amazing, and liberating grace!

    Love you,

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