On this Ash Wednesday it seems appropriate that we continue this look at holding on to God. The gift of Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent is the gift of recognizing there are many handles we could hold on to and the importance of learning to let go.
Learning to let go of the handles of isolation, shame, image, control and that death is to be feared and seen as a failure. Ash Wednesday begins the journey of coming together and admitting in community that we are all in the same boat of clinging to handles that will eventually fail us and God knows it. There is no reaching a certainty other that the certainty that the One Who Holds Us is the one we are invited to hold.
In order to hold on to the Love we must admit and practice releasing all the other things one clings to instead. Realizing that neither life nor death, nor anything deemed more important than clinging to God can separate us from that Love.
The importance of this is monumental. Why? Because the culture wants us to believe that nothing is enough. There will always be a need for something more, something is always missing and no one is okay until it is found. It is everywhere, daily, minute by minute calling us into a sense of isolation. Once isolated, it is much more challenging to grasp the handle on life that is Love. The way out of isolation is to admit that someday being enough is a fantasy because right now, this space, this time is enough. Being connected to Love is enough, rich, poor, young, old, alone or together. From this idea of enough then miracles happen.
Admit that for some poverty, ageism, bullying, depression exists, then it can be seen. One can, from this place, move into it not as one who is out to end it or shun it but enter into the reality of what it means to be poor, discriminated, and lonely and bring Love to it. Admitting that joy, success, wealth and healthy relationships exists then one can be see and move into it not as one seeing the rich, healthy and whole families as the ultimate ring to grasp or as the enemy of all who do not have these things but instead bring Love to it. Holding the handle of God highlights connection and the isolation separating groups ends.
The gift of days like Ash Wednesday is to remind us when we cling to God there is no “other”. Ultimately drawing closer to God is learning to let go and draw closer to each other in the commonality of Love.