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Among the Ashes
by Kristen Schiffman
03/15/07
Not For Sale
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Job 2:8
“Then Job took a broken piece of pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.”



It was a painful morning five autumns ago that has left me changed forever. I remember vividly the day, the colors, where the sun was as I awoke. I remember sounds, textures, the clothes I wore in the following days. I am in the most deepest of places, marked forever. I am in the most secret of places still, in quiet moments, stunned to my core at the change life can take in one single day.
Recently, while reading the book of Job I came across this verse: “Then Job took a broken piece of pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.” I have never felt more ‘forever’ touched by an Old Testament person in my life!
Job. The poor man. Lost his home, his work, all of his accomplished goals, his family, along with them any dreams of seeing their lives blossom as his had up until that fateful day. It left him forever marked, we can be sure.
What strikes me so about this verse is the aftermath picture it paints for us: Job loyal to his God, righteous in his walk, faithful to the end; this very man, sitting among the ashes…picking up a piece of broken pottery and scraping his tired skin. In that moment I wonder what Job remembered about his children? I wonder what Job took in? I need not wonder how Job felt- considering an entire book of the Bible is dedicated to his questions and the Lord’s answers. Job in clear terms speaks, “If my misery could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales, they would outweigh all the sands of the sea.” How truly devastated this man admittedly was.
Job has taught me sometimes the aftermath of loss can be the most painful of seasons. As a collected group of people we tend to carry ourselves through sorrow and the event of loss. We suck it up. We slap on our game faces. We meet the task before us.
But when the sun has set; when the day is done - how do our hearts handle the aftermath? I ask you today, among what ashes are you sitting? With what broken piece of your former life are you scraping your wounds?
I ask you sincerely will you be as I was and allow ashes to remain hot as fire, burning instead of healing? Or will you in the company of Christ, allow Him to bring beauty from the ashes?
Let us rise up and meet Christ. Let us remain loyal, righteous, faithful. Let us allow His scarred, redeeming hands to mend our broken hearts.
Dear one, if I desire this for you …how much more so must our Maker? This was His heart for Job: restoration. I believe he has long since planned restoration for you as well…

Scripture taken from the New International Version.

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