Have you ever given much thought to dirt?
Farmers till it. Pitchers kick it around the mound. And I spent four hours last Saturday playing in it to get rid of weeds in the garden.
I don't give dirt much thought. I mean it's always doing whatever it is that it's supposed to be doing. It just sort of lies there like…well…dirt.
What's so special about it?
God created dirt and called it, "good" (Genesis 1:10). That answer should probably suffice, but there's more. In one very special act, God did something He had never done before.
God picked up some dirt, formed a unique shape, and blew into the form a part of Himself. He exhaled into the lifeless form to create life from nothing (Genesis 2:7).
I find it interesting that God "spoke" the heavens into being. He didn't have to lift one magnificent finger.
But with man? He got His hands dirty.
And as he formed the dirt pile and exhaled, He talked to Himself: "Let us make mankind in our image, according to our likeness…" (Genesis 1:26). The "us" – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – shared divine Spirit with the creature. This creature, Adam, shared the breath of the Creator.
That which was in God – that which contained God – was blown into that pile of dirt. And instead of being blown away, the dirt was being blown to life.
Imagine that scene. God playing in the dirt. At His life-giving breath, God ushered the created into a relationship with the Creator. God had made this creature like God.
But not to BE God.
Yet Adam had his own ideas as he swallowed forbidden fruit. Perhaps Adam felt that since he was made in the image of God and with the essence of God, he might as well act like God – be God himself.
Maybe sometimes I share that desire to be the god of my own life.
I eat forbidden fruit and go into hiding, looking for the nearest fig leaf. But hiding is just an illusion. I share the breath of our Creator. Hiding from God isn't possible.
That's why I needed yesterday's Ash Wednesday reminders."Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." Those words recall how I started and how I will end up. The ashes reminded me that my sin and rebellion separate me from Him.
He sent His Son to willingly become one of us.
Jesus experienced everything we would.
Then Jesus died like one of us so that we will be, once again, one with Him in His victorious resurrection.
God got His hands dirty – Jesus bore our filthy ashes – so that we could be clean from the inside out.
You see, once the Creator God breathed His breath into that pile of dirt, it was no longer just plain old dirt. It became Holy Dirt. So, while in the end it may be "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust," it will never be just "dirt to dirt."
Because of His great love and sacrifice, we are "Holy Dirt to Eternal Life."
How does this change the way you see yourself in the mirror?.