Lenten Meditation

by Kevin Burke

I am clay and ground stone
and shaped wet to a bowl by Your hand
and burned hard in Your flame.

But I am full of dead things now;
dead thoughts, dead cares,
dead deeds, dead dreams.

Lord! You tell me that today is Now!
and now is the time to start my emptying.

And You tell me You will fill my holding bowl
with Your grace and soft white love on Your rising day.

But I am clay and ground stone.
Do help me, Lord.

Ash Wednesday

Brittle dry palms
desiccated by last year’s sins,
failures, omissions, commissions.
A year of missing the mark.

Pummel them, Break them
into bits
Brittle bones of shame-
crumble them.

Lay them on a fire
to be consumed
Transformed into power
Silky smooth sign
of repentance
dross consumed, Grace remains.

Oil; balm of Gilead
mixed with ash
marks us
sons and daughters of dust
claimed by God
for love’s embrace.

Pain and sin transformed
reeds of bitterness to
Palms of Promise
as Christ is crucified and risen.

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