Dust, dirt, earth, clay.
We're made from it.
We know the basics of this scientifically- human bodies are built with the same elements that the earth is composed of. (Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Calcium, Sodium, Iron....)
We also know it instinctively- we talk about having "feet of clay" and being tied to the earth, our sustenance depends on the dirt, and at death we return to the dust.
Genesis describes this beginning with striking simplicity- The Lord God formed man from the clay, and brought him alive with breath and spirit.
I love that visual. A human form, made of cool brown clay perhaps, smoothed by the hand of God, lying still on the grass in Eden. And then a rush of Breath, and the man has a soul and spirit and life.
Genesis confirms exactly what we all discover about ourselves- we've got eternity in our hearts, but we depend on bodies that return to the soil. We are "treasures in jars of clay."
We long for purity and glory, and yet we leave dusty fingerprints all over.
Those truths give us much to think about, don't they?
As authors Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel say, we're "Sons of Dust and Heaven."
If we forget the dust, we expect too much of ourselves and others.
When we accept our dustiness, we can find grace even in our failings, and we can be gentle with each other.
If we eliminate the Heavenly reality, all we have are bodies and their needs.
There will be no greater vision, no purpose, no transcendence.
At the same time, if we elevate the spiritual too high above the earthly, we become Gnostics- convinced that the physical is dangerous and distracting. We forget that the dust and all it entails was called "very good."
Jamin and Kyle begin by discussing mankind's origin in dust, and what that means. And then they take it further.... they speak of the Word who became Dust, of Christ in the Incarnation. And that changes everything all over again. Now we're not just "very good" dust, we're Beloved Dust.
We don't just have a spirit, we have the Holy Spirit.
Everything else they address- from prayer to rest to abiding in Him- is all grounded in that reality.
This is one of those books that is accessible for a new Christian ( I would have loved it, because it makes you think!) and refreshing for a more mature one.
Thank you to Booklook for my review copy.