Knee Deep in Ashes

Rescue (re-do of a previous piece); 2015; 20

Rescue (re-do of a previous piece); 2015; 20″ x 28″; Mixed media: oil-based ink collagraph print with watercolor and pastel

I’m standing knee deep in ashes. The shards of shattered dreams now crumble over scorched earth.

Years ago, I dreamed, I yearned, I claimed. I clutched my heart’s desire.

But sometimes challenges twist into diagnoses, early tremors quicken into full-blown quakes.

I stand here, not at all sure I remember the heart once beating strong and true in my own chest. In fact, I hardly recognize this heart, broken as it is.

I want to be rescued.

What I long for is healing. But what if healing never comes? The anguished cry of the soul echoes through all these blackened mounds: Is God not powerful enough, or does He simply not care?

The questions taunt and flare brilliant orange, flake into soot, pull me down like quicksand: down, down deeper than I’ve ever been to rock-bottom bed-rock.

To an invitation. If God does not reply with the miracle, the beautiful miracle for which I cry and weep and beg; when He, in fact, answers with the opposite, could He possibly be ever so tenderly asking me to wait for something better?

Perhaps a greater miracle will happen inside me, where I will find invisible beauty in the midst of ugliness…. or maybe there is beauty that I will only see from the flip-side of this tapestry – and now I’m just too tangled in the threads.

Like a lifeline, Hebrews 11:35-40 lands in my desperate fingers, twines around my wrists, pulls me shaking and blinking into the light, dusting off those ashes:

35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; (notice the transition here, mid-verse) and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

What if the greatest miracle is finding He is with me, even here?

3 thoughts on “Knee Deep in Ashes

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