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Ashes to ashes and dust to dust

Bobby R. Heny, Sr.

Bobby R. Heny, Sr.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust

“Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [a]always, even to the end of the age.”                                                 Matthew 28:20 (NASB)

By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.

      My family and I enjoy good action filled movies like Iron Man, Transformer and X Men; you know the kind of movies that make you think, “I know it’s not real but ahh maybe it could happen.”

Well, the strangest thing happened, of which I had not seen in some time or had not remembered. Perhaps because it didn’t strike me as being odd since it was a common occurrence.

The first time that I noticed an incident of this nature was back in 1967; I was in the seventh grade.

No matter the amount of science that I learned I could not equate the distance that charred remains from a forest fire could travel.

When we experienced the fires of the Everglades or, as we referred to it, “the Everglades is on fire”, we thought that the fires were just a mile or two away. We had no idea that they were 15, 20 or even 50 miles from us.

Man, we thought that the world was coming to an end and the prophecy of the Bible was being fulfilled; “It won’t be water but fire next time.”

We got through that and the subsequent Everglades fires after that…until.

Until, the Kuwaiti oil fires which were caused by Iraqi military forces when they set fire to a reported 605 to 732 oil wells along with an indeterminate number of other oil filled areas.

This time it was different. I was grown and understood geography much better; I knew how far Kuwaiti was from the United States.

Rusty colored skies and a smoky haze added to my thoughts of a nuclear holocaust that would leave all of man-kind burned, charred like a piece of refined coal with a close resemblance to the villain in the Terminator with his skin off.

Hell, Sheol and the fiery pits all came to mind two days ago when I walked outside, smelled smoke and saw ashes all over our vehicles. I expected to see zombie-like creatures running down the streets with their skin falling from their bones as the fires were in the background burning everything they touched.

Whoa, hold up there, what is going on? I thought. “Is it to late for me to pray? How much time do we have before we are engulfed with flames-the smoke seemed just that thick and in close proximity to us.

This was no place or time that I wanted to experience the torment or the emissions of sulfur dioxide that this powerful thing called fire could do to an unsuspecting soul.

A remarkable diminishing air quality, and a direct cause to respiratory problems (can’t breathe) was not on my schedule for today.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” is a phrase taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer concerning burial services. First written in 1549, it is regarded as  the first prayer book to include the comprehensive structures for everyday service and Sunday worship in English; also included in the book are ‘prayers to be said with the sick’ and at Funeral services.

For sure there are things that draw you closer to God and there are things that push you into God’s ever open arms for His children and the smell of smoke and seeing ashes all over your vehicles is one of them.

     “And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.”                                                                             Daniel 3:26 (KJB)





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