“Then Job answered the Lord:
“I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you declare to me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”” Job 42.1-6 (NRSV)
“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” – Ash Wednesday Blessing
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
- From Yeats, The Second Coming
God outdoes us at every turn. He humbles me in the power and care of His creation. The freedom He allows us while providing for our every need is a paradox that I cannot fathom. He redefines the word ‘god’ every day, expanding it into new territories.
Compared to this, who am I? Who are we? Just flickering motes of dust, tossed about to and fro by every little gust of wind. Some of our greatest adversaries: Cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hunger, and poverty… these might be barely noticeable blips on the radar screen of the one who created the entire universe, who determines the deaths of stars, let alone the health and comforts of humanity. I cannot relate.
Then God does one more incredible thing. He becomes dust Himself. Eternity fits itself into a box of 33 years. The God of the universe, who could have been born as a blazing star that consumed everyone in Bethlehem with His glory and holiness, was instead born as a tiny helpless baby. How can this be? Even I, a man of dust cannot humble myself to the level of an infant!
But that is exactly what God asks of each of us. Following His lead, we are called to be “born again”. To rid ourselves of our fanciful notions of greatness and stoop to a terrifying level of helplessness – trusting God to hold us, as He trusted Mary to hold Him.
Can you remember you are dust today… dust that only enjoys this life by the grace of God? Can you return to the humility of that dust as we wait expectantly for our God to return, to lift us up, and to lead us home?
- What brings joy to your life today?
- What reminds you of your humble place in life?
- How can you follow God’s example and humble yourself in order to trust in God’s grace more this week?
That you would be mindful of us?
What do you see…
That’s worth looking our way?