Confession #139: Life is Made Beautiful with Dust
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. – Genesis 2:7
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You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
– Beautiful Things by Gungor
I find it interesting that we were made from dust- that the God of Heaven chose such a simple, dirty ingredient to form the very first man. Just as an artist wisely chooses his medium, I believe God chose dust for a purpose.
Personally, I hate dust. I hate the way it gathers on my bookshelves; the way it blows in the wind and falls onto my eyelashes; the way it makes me sneeze; the way it just makes everything seem dirty, unkempt, and old.
Living in Haiti, my life is full of dust. The busy, unpaved road outside my house continually blows dust inside, giving all of my dark wooded furniture a top layer of murky brown. The keyboard in which I am typing these words, even, is encrusted with years of dust and grime around each square letter. I hate dust.
Ironically enough, life is made beautiful with dust. I recently learned that dust is what makes the sky so blue and what makes sunsets so rich with color. It even causes rain and snow. Which for me, is hard to believe- that heavenly beauty can be made from the dust beneath my feet. How can such an annoying, gross, little speck of dust actually be used for something more beautiful than my Clorox wipe?
As I said before, I believe God chose to make us from dust on purpose. He took the dust of the earth, not the nutrient filled soil either, but the dry makes-you-want-to-sneeze kind of dust and created man. Beautiful man. Just as dust is used to make rain, snow, a blue sky, and the sunset, it was also used by God to make us. In one breath, God took something ugly and made it into something beautiful.
People often view Haiti with dusty lenses. One trip in the back of a pickup truck down here and that statement is literally true, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s easy to see Haiti for its dust- for what makes it ugly, filthy, and poor. It’s easy to hear the sad stories, read the staggering statistics, and see the despairing poverty. In Haiti, dust is everywhere.
But God makes beautiful things from dust. And He is making beautiful things out of the dust in Haiti. He is gathering it in the unpaved streets, collecting it from the ocean shore, carving it out of the mountainside. He is holding the dust in his hands and is slowly breathing life.
Living here, God has blessed Hunter and I with the unique opportunity to see His beautiful craftsmanship in Haiti. Not to say we still don’t see the dust. We still see the tears of the orphan, hear the cries of the restavek, and feel the beat of the voodoo drums through the night. But we also, with hope, see through the dust. We see beauty here. Beauty only God could have created. Beauty that came from dust and now has life.
We are bending down, grasping the dust by the handfuls, and asking ourselves: From this God made man. Blue skies. Sunsets. What beautiful thing does He want to create here? Dust is all around us, but so is God. And where God is, beauty will come forth. For this I am certain.
So today I want to encourage all of you no matter where you are in the world- take off your dusty lenses- remember what you were made from- that you too were just a speck of dirt- and choose to see the beauty God desires to make- no matter how ugly some place/person/situation might seem. He makes beautiful things out of the dust. He is in control.
To see more of the beauty we see in Haiti, check out Hunter Kittrell Photography.