Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
(Matthew 16:24-25 ESV)
Strip me of all but the mark, thumb crossing on forehead, that I might let mingle my spiraling soot with His blessing ashed. The burned arm of palm once so green now tendered free of want joins as one the wind-tunneled trail from which I came and the long road down which I travel invoking darkness seeking light: I'm listening.
(A Prayer for Ash Wednesday, by Maureen Doallas)