Just as I feel that craving for light and color in this dim

Still-Winter, Ash Wednesday arrives.  For a moment,

Making like a groundhog and postponing lightness

Another six weeks to think on death seems harsh.

Forego adorning doors with Spring wreaths, make fewer

Desserts, keep the bright clothing in the closet?  Yet somehow

The pastel fluffy dresses already in the stores and the garish

Eggs and candy avalanches affront my eyes, and only

Reaffirm for me:  I actually prefer Him.


Counterfeit sacrifice is not what He asks.

(Christ, the Self-Giver, does ask, you know. )

Asks me to know with clear heart that He is True Love.

Asks me to receive with pure heart His Life.

Bids me love with His love, heal with His healing.

Bids me utterly worship Him.

The real sacrifice.


I pray, then, these present Lenten days gladly freed

Of luxuries, more lightly stepping in my spirit with Him through

His last Earth-days toward death unparalleled —

He, sorrowing, decided, preparing His loved ones to live Real Life.

Again I witness that though God sometimes enfolds Himself

In darkness, He is not dimmed.  In the tomb of ultimate sorrow,

He fills with joy and bursts through Death.


Deanna Harrington Christiansen ~  2017 ~ All Rights reserved

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