Divine and Dusty: Embodied Prayers for Lent

Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021


Katie Snipes Lancaster


The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. Isaiah 58:11–12


“Instead of going to heaven at last,
I’m going all along.” —Emily Dickinson

This morning I plodded in pajamas
and bare toes toting my full water pitcher,
prepared as an offering for my
hanging blue Fan plant. The tall
grass washed my feet as Jesus might.

I was met by a congregation
of glad-handed Hostas greeting
and touching me, choirs of Clematis
robed in purple, jovial Jonquils clad in yellow,
sun-facing Spiderworts, and sweet green Mint
mingled with spicy Oregano, breathing
their fragrances, glistening and glowing
in sunlight and dew.

They danced when they saw me;
asked no questions, made no judgments,
anointed me with dew, toweled my dusty
feet with warm sun, then sent me on
to do for another what they had done for me.
—Michael Escoubas: “Towel and Basin”


O Repairer-of-the-breach,
Divine Restorer-of-the-streets,
anoint us:
make no judgements,
ask no questions,
just hear us,
raise us up,
rebuild here among us.
Anoint us with song,
sunlight and ancient warmth.
Anoint us, even now,
in pajamas and bare toes,
toting our daily-everything
to your throne of tender love. Amen.

February 17, 2021

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