What is it about dust that is so spiritual? Don't so many of us think of spiritual in the context of flickering candles, glowing sunlight flooding through windows, voices united in hymns, reading through the Bible, etc. I have been caught up in those moments when it felt that I had left my current earthly surroundings and was given a glimpse of heaven. In other words, all of those previous experiences are spiritual moments - at least they are to me.
But what about dust? Dust is dirty. It simply feels weird. It has a strange look to it. If you did a search for the word dust as it is found in the Bible, it would be mostly associated with dirt, death, as well as punishment. There are, of course, a few exceptions to this understanding of the word dust as it is found in the Bible. Furthermore, even our own Book of Common Prayer uses the line, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust as a part of the Burial liturgy for the Committal portion of the service. This is while earth is cast upon the coffin. (BCP, page 501)
So many of you know that my wife and I are in the arduous, yet somewhat satisfying, process of getting our house in Tennessee ready to sell. During a recent long stretch of such preparation, I chose the responsibility of looking for and cleaning dust. I confess that I thought this was going to be an easy job. Ha! Once you start the search, you begin to see dust almost everywhere: light bulb globes, fan blades, crown moldings, even the tops of picture frames. Thank God (literally) dust comes off fairly easily; nevertheless, you have got to start dusting in order for the dust to come off. I am going back week after week to finish the dusting job.
We are now just on the precipice of the Church season of Lent, which many of us find to be quite a positive challenge to our spiritual growth. Spoiler alert - a portion of the plot of Lent is that dust in your own life will be revealed. Let this be the year, beginning on Ash Wednesday (March 6), that we discover the dust in our own lives.
What will the dust be? I do not know. I do know, however, that you will have come to the right place to find it and to clean it. Who knows what will happen? Come and see.