Waiting in the Wilderness: This Quintessence of Dust

What a piece of work is a man!
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
~ William Shakespeare in Hamlet’s monologue 

God –
the God who made the dust,
who made the stars,
who made the elements of which we are composed –
that same God chooses from the beginning to make his dwelling among us,

to live for all time like us,
as a servant of the soil.
I am the dust of the earth,
but God declares that he is not too good,
not too proud,
for my dustiness.
~Daniel Stulac from
 Plough Quarterly No. 4: Earth

What I know for sure is this:
We come from mystery and we return to mystery.
I arrived here with no bad memories of wherever I’d come from,
so I have no good reason to fear the place to which I’ll return.
And I know this, too:

Standing closer to the reality of death awakens my awe at the gift of life.
~Parker Palmer “On the Brink of Everything

This dust left of man:
earth, air, water and fire
prove inadequate
to quell the significance
of how, in the beginning,
this dust became us, and
how, forevermore,
this is the dust we leave behind.

Only now,
the transcendent hope
of eternal life restored by faith
can breathe glory
into us,
the plainest of ash.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change, at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come out from this ground, at all?

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of usAll around,
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found, in you

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
Oh, you make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new,
You are making me new
You make me new,
You are making me new
(Making me new)

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
Oh, you make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new,
You are making me new
You make me new,
You are making me new

Songwriters: Lisa Gungor / Michael Gungor

2 thoughts on “Waiting in the Wilderness: This Quintessence of Dust

  1. Palmer said…What I know for sure is this:
    We come from mystery and we return to mystery.

    This morning at 11:00 AM my father returned to mystery.

    Last night, I was invited into his room by his nurse from 2:30-5:30.
    This morning, upon request from his nurse, I returned to his room at 9:30.
    He was on oxygen. He had labored breathing.
    The Hospice nurse was there to evaluate my dad.
    Immediate family talked to dad via the Grandpad.
    After the last one spoke to dad, he made a few sounds and movements and was gone.
    Very fast, I didn’t think he would return to mystery so quickly.
    Thankfully, my father did not have a long struggle with death.

    He did have 11 months of isolation. That is not what I wanted for him.
    We talked several times daily. He talked for hundreds of hours receiving and sending calls.
    He would call people and sing Happy Birthday to them.
    He would reminisce and tell people all kinds of interesting facts about their parents and grandparents.
    His mind was sharp…really sharp for 98. He was a good story teller.
    He had friends of all ages. He was kind. He was generous.
    He always said, “Thank you.” to his caregivers.
    He was very special and loved by many.
    In the last year, he ended all calls with…”Love you.”

    This afternoon I thought my biggest challenge at the moment is get though the day with no calls from dad.
    Thank you, Lord, for the life my father shared with many.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Linda, you and your dad has so many lost hours together this last year, so many regrets but what a gift he gave to you today. You were there with him. He sounds like such a loving man and you gave him so much love back. Now he is experiencing the mystery and glory of God. I hope you will sleep well tonight knowing your dad is in good hands and you will miss those calls, no question about it. Love to you, Emily

    Like

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