When have the ashes of your past been beautiful to someone else? When have you been candid enough with someone who was struggling to give them tools from your own struggling that can help them as they experience hard times? We all have valleys in life that we wish we didn't have to navigate but when we get back out of the valley and file away the information we learned to get through the difficult time, it can be used to the greater good when shared with a friend. Now, I am not at all saying we need to go around and lay all our problems out on a table for all to see and hear. But what I AM saying is that when an opportunity comes to share a situation you have been through so that another of God's children can have strength for another day then we need to remove our veil, or mask for them to see that they are not alone. The worst feeling in the world is alone. To feel like you are the only one experiencing this pain, this loss, this agony, this problem. We have such a unique opportunity with our circle of friends and family and coworkers to help each other feel like they are not alone. What a gift.
In Isaiah 61:1-5 we are told to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release darkness for the prisoners, to comfort all who mourn and bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. When have your ashes been a beautiful crown to someone else who was in need? This passage also says they will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Oak trees are very slow growing but the strongest trees when the winds blow. They roots are very deep. When we share struggles with friends who have lived a day in our shoes, we create this great oak. Slowly, deeply, and strong enough to stand the winds of trouble.
Make your ashes beautiful for someone today. Have a great day!