Beauty from ashes . . .
While driving through some of the hills that were severely burned in the California fires last year, I was struck by tiny pops of green amid so much char, barrenness, soot, and desolation.
Fires are destructive. They are wild. They do not discriminate. The wildfires ran through these hills and left a surface of trauma, destitution, and despair.
They also left behind ash. The tiny fragments of all that had been destroyed. Those tiny particles covered the earth.
And fortified it.
Ash contains minerals and the burned remains actually helped to establish new life amidst all the destruction. Much of what was burned after little rain for many seasons, was dead plant matter. The dead plant materials cover the earth and choke the soil from getting sunlight and proper nutrients, negatively impacting surrounding plant life and all who inhabit the land. When the dead plant matter is burned, the resulting ash becomes faster fertilizer for the depleted soil and the light of the sun can reach every nook and cranny.
When plants burn, some elements are lost in the process like nitrogen and sulfur, but other nutrients like potassium and lime remain.
What was left behind looked like a disaster. It looked like death. Like … nothing. And from the ashes, beauty is being brought forth. New life.
Healing can be like this. Sometimes all my clutter and “dead matter” needs to be cleared so the sun can hit my soil and fresh new life can emerge. Whether it’s a planned and controlled burn or a wildfire I didn’t expect, beauty can come from the ashes. Look beyond the wreckage. Find hope. Make way for new beginnings.
“to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify Him.” – Isaiah 61:3 HCSB