Ashes and gold

All is not perfect, all is not torn,

All is not wasted, the bruised and the worn

All is not tarnished, all is not pure,

All is not sacred, the cause and the cure

We’re walking through ashes and gold

All is not lost

All is not fury, all is not peace,

All is not blameless, the proud and the least

We’re walking through ashes and gold

But all is not lost

We’re walking through ashes and gold

But all is not lost

Beauty remains, beauty not shame, hidden in scars

We are carried by love, carried by love

And all is not lost

All is not perfect, all is not torn,

All is not wasted, the bruised and the worn

We’re walking through ashes and gold

But all is not lost

We’re walking through ashes and gold

All is not lost

All is not spoken, all is not heard

All is not given, all is not shared…

Yvonne Lyon

I am so sad this morning.  It is Saturday and it’s actually Martin’s birthday – I really should be at home with him, but we both knew I needed to come away for a break after such a demanding week. I’ve had my favourite women’s conference in the diary for many months – a great chance to reconnect and get refreshed: I really wanted to come.

Now I am here I feel as if I have landed from another planet!  Everyone is nice to me, showing their love and concern, but I had forgotten how hard it is to be in a crowd, in a meeting, where others don’t carry an impossible weight.  I want to lay it down, overcome it, focus on all the good stuff being shared – I try my best to do that with integrity and offer what is true to where I am at and find the best I can do is sit very still and silent in the atmosphere and present my heart to God.  I will not be bitter at the talk of creative miracles and angels – I know these things are real and I am willing to ask for them… but I sit with the sadness of things not being as they should be and having to live with that, find a way through that.  Don’t we all?  God doesn’t often seem to wave His ‘magic wand’… perhaps he has another agenda to change and heal us.

This beautiful song has been my most helpful outlet for the past week – thank you, Yvonne: it has a beautiful tune as well.  It sums up the hope we have that even when the fire goes out and all that is left is ash, there can be gold found in the cinders.  It staves off despair with the truth that reality is actually a mixture, not black or white but both co-existing, with shades of grey in between… and that even in this fallen world glory can be found in the suffering.  That has been a huge revelation on this journey – and yes, we have experienced it… the glory doesn’t come after the suffering, but at the same time. Here we are in this world of pain and scars where many suffer – but all is not lost. We cannot go to extremes and say all is well – it isn’t; but nor should we say all is wasted.  Life is not that simple, no matter how strong your faith: Jesus’ own life shows us that.

I’m glad He came to share in this bitter-sweet world of ashes and gold in which we live our lives.  We don’t live in heaven yet, no matter how close that realm may be – but we are caught in the in-between, on the threshold – as I said yesterday, standing stretched across a gap.  We are the priests who carry the burdens to God and His word back to the people – and His Word is: all is not lost. There can be victory in the seeming failure and defeat if we let the Divine Alchemist do His work. It will not always be like International Rescue throwing down a rope and winching us up… often we will have to walk through it, grow through it, trust our Father through it – and perhaps that is as great a miracle.

Beauty remains, beauty not shame, hidden in scars

We are carried by love, carried by love

And all is not lost

No matter how sad, how painful it feels, these words carry truth and comfort.  We are carried by a love greater than we can know – and so often that is fleshed out in the people around us! – and He has a plan in all of it.  Faith is choosing to believe, to trust that and to live it out in the times where miracles don’t seem to happen and everything gets broken and torn, when there is no intervention – except perhaps an unexpected path to walk through the sea and a light shining at our feet for the next step.  For our family this week it is not even about Sam’s cancer, but the pain Jessica has been going through… can there be a way of redemption and gold for her in these ashes? I pray so: that is the silent cry of my heavy heart today.

Now I must return to the conference, sobered and aware that my journey is too deep for many others to understand and I must not allow comparisons: we all carry a part of the story being told.  Actually I am proud of mine and feel privileged to have learned so much and been so blessed along the way… I guess that’s the ashes and gold for you.  I will sit with the last couple of lines of this song:  mum’s the word – God knows.

All is not spoken, all is not heard

All is not given, all is not shared…

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About Sally Ann

True-story teller - words and pictures
This entry was posted in Life choices, Prayer, Quotable quotes. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Ashes and gold

  1. Martin says:

    For those of you who for whatever reason dont know the wonderous music/words of Ms Lyon here is the site where you can buy lots and lots of good stuff – she is also on tour with Iona just now – there is no excuse
    http://www.yvonnelyonmusic.com

  2. Martin says:

    Now back to Jimi Hendrix (Peel sessions – storming stuff – thanks be to God for my dear friend Martin Faulks) Tortoise and indeed Mice on the Keys all of which can be played on this most auspicious of days ffff without let or hindrance from external nameless influences – unless of course our neighbours complain – but they cant come out since it is daylight so should be ok on that score – with BACON sandwiches (good evidence for God there if you ask me), the gym and then sailing (bit cold but the wind will be JUST right today), pick up Jessica’s remaining meds (these will cause us to pay excess baggage I am sure), then out to the movies with Samuel, the one who has caused all this bless him – actually he is really happy – he is planning on going to Vancouver very shortly – and then collapse into bed
    whoops sorry this has become my blog
    but it is my birthday

  3. heidi says:

    So sorry and feeling so heavy-hearted with and for you. We’re all praying. Hx

  4. Diane says:

    love to you X

  5. Eden says:

    Yes…. ashes and gold. I was there too. So glad the angels were present…. didn’t see them myself… Knowing and experiencing Presence but not seeing all that’s in my heart come right through
    ‘sobered and aware that my journey is too deep for many others to understand and I must not allow comparisons’
    Yes…. know that one……
    So glad I read your blog to land the experiences of my weekend in a journey of life… A different story to mine but still… sometimes hope, sometimes real breakthrough, sometimes pain, few people who really understand, many who want to care, no words to go to some places, those who think the complexity of a story is over with plain sailing ahead when in reality a challenging journey continues… but a stillness of heart that can find a harbour to rest in a love which goes deeper…. ashes and gold…. Thank you x

  6. toludc says:

    More than I can articulate this post has set my heart at peace. It has put into words what I’ve been living the last week. What I’ve found so difficult to explain to the couple of people who have asked for justification of my journey this week.

    Thank you

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