“Ring around the Rosies, a pocket full of posies. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.” –Nursery Rhyme
The first time you fell down, I’ll bet your parents were anxious. But that’s why you were born with a soft skull and a padded bottom.
The first time you can remember falling down, perhaps you skinned a knee. Twisted an ankle.
The most recent time you fell down was on the ice, maybe, or while you were carrying too much.
The worst time you fell down, you broke your ankle or an arm. You needed stitches. It really hurt.
We all fall down. Just like the old Nursery Rhyme says.
Unlike some of us were told, this rhyme from the 1800’s was NOT about the plague from 500 years before. (Snopes.com) It started as a harmless rhyme about circle dancing, which was popular at the time. The “Ashes” part was probably just an evolved mispronunciation of some other words.
But today, Ash Wednesday, I’m reminded of the ways we all fall down, not physically, but spiritually.
The first time you fell down, I’ll bet God was anxious. It was your first sin, but certainly not the last. But that’s why you were born with a soft heart and a forgiving God.
The first time you can remember falling down, it was probably something that seems trivial today. Perhaps you twisted the truth. I stole a pen at school and lied about it.
The most recent time you fell down was a slippery slope, I’m guessing, or while you were carrying too much. Stress and anxiety can push you off your feet.
The worst time you fell down, you broke a vow or a commandent. There was a lot of pain. You may still be trying to recover.
We all fall down.
And as we begin this Lenten season I encourage you rend your heart, not your knee, before God.
It is only by the Grace of God, after all,
That we are able to stand.
Ashes to ashes,