Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, August 31

Remember you are dust…

(Ash Wednesday liturgy)

Taking the clay into his hands, the potter began to turn the wheel. Centering it, pushing ever so gently into the clay, allowing it to find its place on the spinning disc, he waited patiently until, without announcement, the clay was centered in the perfect spot.  

Then, with grace and skill, the potter reached into the clay with a single finger only to have a bowl flow forth. The blob of earth that had been nothing more than dust and water seconds before became a beautiful, useful piece of art.  

I return to this image again and again when I feel depressed, anxious or just tired. It gives me strength and encouragement, for in it I see and experience the feeling of being lovingly created by God.  

God took me from the dust of the earth, and centering, holding, caressing, God brought me forth. Shaping my very frame, making me into the child that I am, God loved me enough to call me into being.  

When we forget who we are and whose we are, we must return to our creation in God. Knowing that God fashioned and fashions us gives strength and endurance for the race set before us. Things might not always be perfect, but with God calling us into being, we can face it.  

So next time you are stressed, imagine God calling you forth from the dust of the earth. Imagine God's very self reaching into the clay and pulling you out.

And if you are lucky, you might realize it's not imagination at all.  

Creator God, thank you for my life, for pulling me out of the dust of the earth and breathing new life. Help me to trust in the life you give and live it as you give it, full of grace and mercy. Amen.

The Signposts for August are written by Michael Sullivan and originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.