story of the ashes

I think I've posted this on my blog every year since I started blogging, but I will continue to share this every year, as it's such a lovely reflection. TSO has been sending this to me every Ash Wednesday for 10 years, and yet, I still look forward to re-reading it every year.

"...It was Mr. Gold who counted time and eventually spoke first.

'Jacob, where do you find the strength to carry on in life?'

'Life is often heavy only because we attempt to carry it,' said Jacob.
'But, I do find a strength in the ashes.'

'In the ashes?' asked Mr. Gold.

'Yes,' said Jacob, with a confirmation that seemed to have traveled a
great distance.

'You see, Mr. Gold, each of us is alone.  Each of us is in the great
darkness of our ignorance.  And each of us is on a journey.

'In the process of our journey, we must bend to build a fire for
light, and warmth, and food.

'But when our fingers tear at the ground, hoping to find the coals of
another's fire, what we often find are the ashes.

'And, in these ashes, which will not give us light or warmth, there
may be sadness, but there is also testimony.

'Because these ashes tell us that somebody else has been in the night,
somebody else has bent to build a fire, and somebody else has carried

'And that can be enough, sometimes.'"
--from Jacob the Baker by Noah benShea


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