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Beauty for Ashes.

Ashes. the powdery residue left after the burning of a substance.

Synonyms: cinders, ashes, “embers” a pile of ash".

The remains of something destroyed; ruins.

Grey, powdery, dusty or white. No color, no shape. Your fingers can’t detect the texture of ash, as it is not firm enough. Burned to ashes usually means, no hope of restoration there. Nothing to rework or repair.

After the fires in California recently a friend and her husband returned to his hometown. He discovered the family home of years past,was ashes. The corner of the concrete foundation was sticking up in a black corner of the yard. Now its charred shape cried out to invoke a sweet memory of the family that grew there, but grief took over from the boy turned man at the loss. Wisps of scenes hang in the air unable to reform into a moment of long ago. Sweet images, having lost their organizing template, were forever altered and turned to ashes.

What remains after a relationship has felt the burn? Heart's layers, having felt the fire’s sting; the burn place may not be powdery but blackened. Ridges of singed flesh can be felt with fingertip, or mind. Memories of the second before fiery words were spoken and the spark of the fire heat.

Can the regret, can the cooling of salve bring healing? Can there be a cooling-off-period? So many words so many fiery embers. Hot! Don’t touch! Danger! Don’t listen.

Beauty? Can a burned heart be Beautiful? Can the place of its fiery trial become attractive? Ideally all this is possible. But not with the salves of earth. Only tender care in the Burn Unit with the balm of Gilead soothed in, with the healing words and cleansing tears after empathy and comfort and listening can perhaps bring back a beauty that has strength and peace in it.

Are you hurting, or have you been burned? Are there ashes on your fingertips, are you staring at a pile that has no shape, no color?

Find someone who is well able to tend to the burns, the heat of anger and the raging of resentment and words said in a flash. Fire season came on and it only took a spark to set it ablaze. Destruction of it is horrifying, heartbreaking.

But even the forest releases seeds in a hot fire that only germinate in Forest Fire. New life is designed to come out of those pine cone ashes because the seeds needed the heat to burn off the hard shell.

Is there a hard shell of mistakes and wounding words that the fire burned out of your heart? You’re looking at ashes. But water with tears of repentance and you may just see new life through confession and forgiveness that will indeed be more beautiful than the former thing. Let the fire do its work. He brings beauty for ashes, if we give Him time and if we give him our burns and our ashes and our wounds.