Dust to Dust
Seems like everywhere I turn lately, death has been staring me in the face.
I’ve had the odd privilege of participating in a funeral every weekend for the past six weeks straight.
I can’t get the death of those beautiful young people from UNC out of my mind.
Neither can I let go of the deaths of the twenty-one Christians who were martyred.
Nor can I forget the deceased victim of the woman with whom I have worshiped many Tuesday mornings at the Western Virginia Regional Jail this past year.
The six funerals were all folks whose lives were long (several in their 90’s) and fruitful. Letting them go was a gentle releasing into eternal rest.
Mourning the lives of those who were lost to violence has not been so easy.
Being called to love someone in Christ’s name who has taken a life violently has not been easy at all.
I’ve been wrestling with God over how people can be so mean and hateful and desperate, and I’ve been begging God to help us learn how to live together in peace.
Most days, I don’t want to admit the reality of death, anyone’s death, but most especially, my own.
Every day I would prefer not to think of the human capacity for violence.
But since my work as a church musician calls me to assist with planning our Ash Wednesday service – a service that will acknowledge both mortality and the culture of violence in which we live – I find I have no choice but to face the fact that
And God knows, we sure know how to treat each other like dirt.
“Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
For a short while, this dirt is filled with God-given breath.
And it doesn’t last forever.
And what we do in it matters.
How can I honor God’s breath in the dirt that is me?
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