Dust Made Manifest





Nobody in the hospital
Could tell the age 
Of the old woman who
Was called Susanna

Because she had no visitors
I would stop by to see her
But she was always sleeping

One day I was beside her
When she woke up
Opening small dark eyes
Of a surprising clearness

She looked at me and said
You want to know the truth?
I answered Yes

She said it’s something that 
My mother told me

There’s not a single inch
Of our whole body
That the Lord does not love

She then went back to sleep.
~Anne Porter  from “Susanna”


Mom meeting great grandson Noah a few days before she died


We tend to forget who made us,
including our funny looking feet, our anxieties,
the crooked teeth, the wrinkles, the scars, the split ends —

We see only imperfection
when our Creator sees dust made manifest
in His image.

He loves us even when we do not love ourselves,
as we hide our nakedness.

He loves us even when we cover up with gloss
of polish, perms, plucking and plastic surgery,
hiding beneath our cosmetic masks.

He loves every inch
because we are His opus, a masterpiece.

He knew exactly what He was doing.


photo by Lea Gibson


photo by Andrea Nipges

8 thoughts on “Dust Made Manifest

  1. The familiar adage, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is so appropriate here, Emily..
    The picture of your mother welcoming her great-grandson Noah — as she gives her blessing and says an earthly goodbye to him before she is taken to her eternal ‘home.’ and Nipges’ stunning photo of what may be three generations — both affirming the blessed continuous generational presence of our loving God in our lives….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You reminded me of 50-year-old photos of my grandmother in her wheelchair, her rheumatoid hands holding our 6 weeks-old daughter with her tiny starfish hands. It’s time to pass those photos on to her 14-year-old son. Thank you for your text and photos sending me to our basement for those cherished memories. Sally

    Liked by 1 person

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