The Words. The Ash. The Sign.

The words.
These tell the story of our curse.
The mark of Cain upon our foreheads.
Hell never was our punishment.
Dust you are
to dust you shall return.
We were severed from life.

The ash.
Burnt black residual of fire,
sign of lamentation and grief
for all that we have torn in the world
and left bleeding.
Dawn of turning and advent of conversion.
Cries a voice in the wilderness.
Make your crooked heart straight.
The kingdom of God is near.

The sign.
Etched upon our skin by the church
to contradict all that must die.
Emblem of paradox.
Intersection of life and death.
Mark of unexpected and surprising grace.

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