Monday, October 29, 2018

Beauty for Ashes

Earlier today, I came out of the grocery store and discovered this on my windshield. Someone decided that each Oct 29th, on the anniversary of their father's death from cancer, they would make what is normally a sad day a better day by giving to others. This was such a touching way to make what was sad and devastating into something beautiful and joyous. They can't begin to imagine how moved I am by their gesture and their example of hope. It reminds me of this scripture in Isaiah, "He hath sent me to bind up the appoint unto them that mourn, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." I will indeed be paying this forward!

It's been interesting not being on Facebook for nearly a month now.

The last week, I have done a lot of praying and pondering, searching for answers about how to organize my time, my home, my life in order to accept the Lord's invitation to "Come Follow Me."

I have been finding my answers, one at a time.  And I've been working to adjust my life according to the answers I receive.

(I hope to share about that in another post this week.)

But since I am not really on social media as much as I was previously, I did not hear about the shooting in the Pittsburgh synagogue until a Facebook friend direct messaged me to send me his sympathies.

Hearts are heavy here, which I think is why this act of kindness that I was the recipient of touched me so much.

I want to follow this person's example to make my life a life that takes the bad, the ugly, the sad, the difficult, the confusing and replaces it with beauty, joy, comfort, and clarity of purpose.

I have experienced both sides of this equation in the last week, and I know that it is the spirit of the Lord that brings that clarity.  And it is charity that brings that beauty to a world that is sometimes so dark.

Tonight for Family Home Evening, we wrote letters to the survivors of the Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill.  It felt good to reach out to them.  It's a small thing, but we hope it eases some of their burden.  I know that Pittsburgh will find all kinds of ways to trade beauty for ashes as we live our respective faiths and reach out in love to others.


  1. we all need to become proactive in this crazy world of ours and not just reactive! Great idea...

  2. Today is the anniversary of my baby boy’s death, and this was just what I needed. Instead of spending the rest of the day being sad I’m going to find something I can do to create beauty for ashes! Thank you so much for sharing this, Jocelyn!