It is soft and powdery, still slightly warm. It feels like feathers that are deteriorating into dust. It is the feeling of toes in a heap of fluffy, grey ash. What was once a towering tree is now being stepped on and blown away by the wind. What was once a solid stump of wood has now become light and fragile. What was once blazing in flames is now on the same ground as dusty dirt. Though the ashes are almost forgotten and seemingly insignificant, there is richness in their furrows.
Farmers sprinkle ash on their fallow fields to revitalize the soil. When seeds are planted, they drink up the zinc and manganese that the ash holds. From the lifeless blooms stalks of sweet corn, rows of musty tobacco, and eclectic wild flowers hugging the perimeter of the field spring up toward the sky. Nature even acknowledges the power in the ash. Volcanoes bubble and spew rivers of red hot lava. Cascades tumble down the volcano devouring the green and breathy plants. When the lava cools, the earth sighs, but only for a moment. Plants soon crack open the hardened rock, rich with the nutrients they drink in from the once fierce and fiery lava.
Life sometimes blooms, yielding wonderment and joy. Other times it is burnt up and broken, left lifeless on the ground. Back and forth there is death and rebirth, but every time the plant grows stronger from the ash. Abba promises a crown of beauty from ashes. The hurts that burn inside are taken by Him, then He places a glowing crown of splendor on our heads. But first, there needs to be some ash to give the gleam to the crown.
Every day I am in search of the ash and the beauty. This is another voice in a crowded room of other voices. It is raw and real. Though it may sometimes be stifled, it will rise and spill out onto these pages. Hopefully, some hearts of ash will bloom into beauty by the help of these words. Above all, love will spring out and nourish broken bodies into brilliant blooms.