Stones and Dust

I awake on the

Morning of my

Sabbath,

Exhausted.

Worn out with loneliness.

Breathing hard with the wear of feeling like nothing is changing, like I am doing the days but they are heading in no particular direction.

Tired from the horrible ways people talk to each other online.

I lie on my couch

Nearly all afternoon,

And alternate between

Reading and sleeping.

It is a strange sleep-

Heavy enough to have me in a fog,

But light enough to wake up now and then

And wonder if I was actually sleeping or just closing my eyes.

The world spins around me.

Sometimes when I wake up,

The sky is heavy,

Other times,

The sun is beaming in.

The balcony door is open a crack,

And I hear movement and life,

 People and music.

When I at last drag myself out of this haze,

I feel guilty.

After all,

I wasted the day.

But when I really stop to think about it…

Did I?

I wasn’t neglecting any responsibility.

I was tired,

And I could sleep,

So I did.

The early evening light is gentle in my living room,

And I, surprisingly,

Am feeling a little

Better.

About everything.

Well, about most things.

Not a lot better,

But a little better.

I recall what I read in Psalm 102 the other morning.

"I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, 
like an owl of the waste places..."

Such a picture of utter isolation and soaring bleakness,

Painted by King David.

Yet further on,

He reveals that he still holds onto

Vision that honours the past and the future.

 “But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
 You are remembered throughout all generations.
 You will arise and have pity on Zion;
 It is time to favor her;
 The appointed time has come.
 For your servants hold her stones dear
 And have pity on her dust.” 

In these slow days,

When aimlessness wanders near,

It feels that all I have are

Stones and dust.

Useless and messy bits-

Could they ever add up to anything holy?

At one time,

they did.

They composed glorious buildings and paths,

Homes and hearths and wells,

Altars.

If I take a moment to examine the stones and the dust that I have,

Those bits and those pieces,

If I look closely,

But remember to also step back and look from a distance…

I can see that they are not quite so disconnected as I thought they might be.

They maybe even are beginning to

Form a new foundation.

A slow building up of a life

That is filled with what is important to me.

Friends who see differently than I do,

But still encourage me and support me,

Eating baked sweet potatoes for lunch,

Reading my Bible,

Learning to pray,

Push-ups and piano,

Cooking with Ricky,

Friends who are so comfortable and loving that just the thought of being in their presence brings me to tears,

Washing my kitchen cupboards while listening to Ellie Holcomb sing truth,

Walking and biking and reading in the sunshine,

Video calls with dear life-long friends,

Family that lets me vacuum my car in their driveway on short notice,

A little sister who sends me on my way with a tiny bouquet of flowers in hand.

These things are exactly the kind of life that I want.

May I hold dear the stones that I have,

And may I love the dust that coats me.

May I never lose the vision and hope

Of what these small things truly are.

Amen.


What stones and dust are you holding dear these days?

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2 Responses

  1. Lovely post again, Jasmine. Thank you for sharing it with us. Stones and dust I’m holding dear these days? Well, a dusty pebble I picked up this morning was a scene in nature. I looked out the window and saw a bird land on the grass beside an 18-inch-long stalk of last year’s flowerbed plant. She (he?) contemplated it a bit and tried it on for size in her beak. She must have decided “yes”, because the next thing I knew she had clamped it in her mouth and was flying off toward her new building site with the long piece of dried stem trailing out behind her! For some reason, watching her made me feel so satisfied.

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