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Ashes, ashes…we all fall down



Graham must be learning that old nursery song at school, because I got a video on my phone recently of him singing it while twirling his little brother around.

Let me just say that it appeared to escalate into a contact sport the third go round and the video got cut short rather abruptly.

I am thinking mom intervened before they collided with the coffee table or each other’s heads or baby Joel…..

Thankfully, little children are spared the speculations about the meaning of this song and can just enjoy the rhyme and the fun of the spinning around until they fall in a giggly heap.

Although, I must admit…hearing your grandson sing “ashes, ashes”… is kinda weird.

On Wednesday, I saw several foreheads sprinkled with another kind of ashes. A reminder to the one wearing them and a reminder to me…what we are made of.

A reminder that we do, indeed, all fall down.

If I didn’t think I would have freaked them out, I wanted to thank each person I saw who bore them.


I shared in my post on Wednesday some ideas for drawing closer to God for the purpose of repentance during this season that will lead us to the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

I listened to a sermon twice this week from Harvest Community Church in Hoffman Estates based on 1 John 1: 5-9. Pastor Jared Ahrens taught about what it means to walk in the light.

Pastor Ahrens pointed out that when John speaks of “walking in the light”, he is not saying that we we will not have areas of darkness.

But when God shines His light of truth in those places, we will respond to His conviction and we will obey Him as He calls us out of the darkness and into the light.


He explains that to “walk in the Light” means that our hearts are open to allow God’s truth to expose areas inside of us where darkness may be hiding out.

He says that those who walk in the light respond by admitting these areas are still in them, and agreeing with God’s word that they have no place in the life redeemed by Christ.

As I have been praying about what darkness God is shining His light of truth on, I have identified an attitude that I do not want to own.

It is embarrassing and childish and extremely deceptive.

It likes to mask itself as woundedness and grief…

but it is, in reality…ugly pride.


Let me be clear…being wounded is not sin. And grieving is not darkness.

But as I have invited God to examine my heart, He has shown me that there are sticky strings of pride and envy that have attached themselves to these vulnerable places in me.

Only God can separate what is impure from what is pure in me.

And so what do I do with this according to 1 John 1:5-9?

I confess it to the Lord.

I agree with Him that His light has revealed this in me.

I take ownership of what He has revealed.

And I confess it for what it is.

And I turn away from it.

I ask Him to cleanse me of it, and by faith I believe He does.

According to His word; He IS faithful…and just …. and will forgive me, and He will heal me so that I can have fellowship with others and be restored.

This season of Lent, let us be intentional to open our hearts to the light of truth.

Let us agree with God when His light reveals a darkness lurking in us.

Let us confess to Him that we see what He already saw and let us cooperate with Him as He delivers us from these hidden places of darkness.




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