And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
We are, as breathed on dust, called into the service and company of another, called to do work other than our own. This creature, formed of dust, is entrusted with the garden, with all the animals, and with all living things. Our creatureliness binds us to the role of steward, friend, and companion of all other creatures who share our fragility.
~Walter Brueggemann from “Remember You Are Dust”
As a farmer, I feel pretty close to the dust I’m entrusted to steward. I carry it around under my fingernails, on my boots, my skin smudged in unexpected ways and places. It clings to me, not wanting to let go of one of its own as I return indoors. Sunbeams in our house swirl with released dust motes given new life through solar energy, each mote a source of fragile strength, plain beauty, complex simplicity. Such joyful dust dance makes me reluctant to get out the dust rags and cleaning solutions.
Even so, I know all about the cleansing needed in this grimy world. The dustiest parts of me lie far deeper than my shedding skin — the breathed-on dust that innervates, circulates and motivates me.
Christ has come to be the dust rag; I will cling to Him as He comes to clean house.