Tumbling in the Sand
“Indeed, all who sleep in the earth shall bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust, though they be dead, shall kneel before the LORD. Their descendants shall serve the LORD, whom they shall proclaim to generations to come. They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying to them, “The LORD has acted!””- Psalm 22: 29-31
Maybe it’s the context of Lent, where we just were reminded that dust we are and to dust we shall return, but this little piece of the psalm jumps out at me, provokes images in my mind and makes me wonder. I can almost picture us human beings as living dust, held together by a little living water and breath.
And that image—in addition to this psalm where all of us dust-y people rise and fall, stand and bow low—makes me think of swirling dust rising and falling. I imagine dust devils and sand storms lifting the dust up high into the air, bringing the dust to life. Since I am familiar with dust devils from living in Alberta (a very common occurrence there), that suddenly brings the idea of dust home for me, to a more familiar place and so I imagine the dust that surrounds me: the dust I see dancing in the sunlight streaming in my window, the dust I see causing glare on my windshield, the dust I trek in on my shoes, the dust I (very) occasionally wipe off my bedroom dresser. And I wonder: if those who have died have become dust, am I reminded in that dust that I am surrounded by the saints? By those who’ve gone before me to the dust?
I am made to wonder by this wondering and this psalm about the difference between the living and the dead and even the yet to live: it seems, especially with this passage in mind that there is little distinction: that we are only found in various stages, various forms of dust. I kind of like that, actually. Not to suggest that there isn’t something extra special about being living dust, because there certainly is; but rather, it feels like we are not so alone in this life if we are surrounded by dust. It feels like we are part of a dance in which we do not dance alone but with those who come before us and after us—and we move in that dance flitting in and out like dust does, moving where the Spirit wills and trusting that God’s promises and deliverance will be proclaimed even by the rising and falling of dust.