An Ash Wednesday Letter to God

Dear God,

I remember that in the beginning you created the heavens and the earth, you created everything, all that there is, seen and unseen.  You even created me, for which I feel eternally special; that you would get down on your knees and formed me from the dust of the earth.  I know I live because you breathed into me your breath of life.  I cannot thank you enough for not only making me, but creating me in your image.  Do you know that means I have seen your face?  In my neighbors, sisters, brothers, and even in a stranger, I have seen you, God.  Apart from you I am simply dust, but in you I am alive with life.

You would think I would do a better job following you, worshipping you, and being your child.  I am sorry for the times that I think I know what’s best for me.  The times I think I know what’s best for others.  I know I should always turn to you because you are the source of life for all living creatures.  I am sorry for the times, again and again, that I fall short of who you created me to be in this world.  I sure give thanks for your patience, because sometimes I am better at being worthless dust, than actually your child.

I apologize for not talking to you more.  You would think that I would want to talk to you every moment of every day, but I don’t, and I forget to pray and give you thanks for all that you do for me and your world.  There are so many things I need to thank you for, but I’m just dust, and not a very good child.

Here’s the thing, God, why do you love me so much?  You created me in your image, but I abuse this body with terrible habits.  You give me life, but I squander nearly every breath I inhale.  You guide me with your Holy Spirit, but I inevitably will take my own path, probably on the low road.  You loved me so much you gave me Jesus, but I nailed him to a cross to get him off my back and leave me alone.  Really, you need to know, I am better at being insignificant dust, than actually acting like the child you created me to be.

All the time, I come to you and confess that I messed up, again. I’m telling you, I am captive to sin and I cannot free myself.  I sin against you all the time in thought, word, and deed.  And it’s not just the things I have done, but also the things I have left undone.  I don’t love you with my whole heart, I certainly don’t love my neighbor as much as I love myself.  I’m selfish, a hypocrite, hatful, judgmental, and cruel.  I’m serious, God, leave me to just be useless dust, it’s easier than being your child, you surely don’t want me.

You’ve got to believe me, I’m a screw-up.  How many times have you caught me in the act?  Every time!  So why do you stick around?  Why keep forgiving me?  Why do you love me?  What’s in it for you?  My heart is telling me, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  That is what I want to be, dust, but I’m your child.

I guess tonight is my chance to openly acknowledge how weak I am, to admit my sinfulness, and that I’ll never clean up perfectly. In a world that often expects me to be perfect, tonight I want to freely confess that I fall short, all the time, and I’m going to do it again. I stand guilty before you God. Even though you created me, I am mortal and will someday take my last breath and experience death. In the end, what I am saying is, I need a Savior.

Your Dusty Child,