Dirt and Grace
I happen to be an avid listener of all things Hillsong United. In general I am almost completely inundated with their music and something happened while listening to their song “Empires” just this last week. The lyrics jumped out at me and really became alive. The very beginning of the song sings:
“We are worlds, we are bodies
Empires of dirt and grace
Silhouettes and reflections
Caught in His holy flame.”
It occurred to me how true that statement really is. If you have read any of my previous articles, you’ll find that I have been transparent about some of my own challenges. In life so many of us face situations that may bring about feelings of shame, disappointment, discouragement but take heart!
Think about who you belong to…
He is called the king of kings so who are the kings (and Queens 💁)? Why you and I of course. If I think about what an empire is, it is everlasting. As a matter of fact empire is synonymous with kingdom. (hello there!) You are the kingdom of God. It dwells within, ready to be pulled out of you and displayed to the world so everyone can see the glory of God. But you might wonder why he mentions dirt.
What do you mean dirt?!
If you have ever heard the story about the creation of man it states God formed man from the dust (see Genesis 2). Now you may find that particular image a bit confusing but I choose to find it comforting. For me I take it as proof that God knew we were going to get dirty (per se). The thing about this whole creation story is that it depicts perfectly who and what we are. Not just flesh, but spirit. There will always be a constant battle to be pulled towards mediocrity even though our spirit desires greatness. So yes that means you will make some questionable decisions along the way. Imagine that you are an empire of dirt and grace. Sculpted from the dust, a God breathed creation. So many moments in this life will force you to look at your shortcomings, decisions, even the people around you and feel shame. Shame that you did not choose the right path, shame that you missed the mark with a situation, shame about what kind of mother, wife, friend, etc. that you are. But trust that it is the complete opposite of what God is thinking about you. That dirt (your mistakes, bad decisions, etc.) is what gives you connection to the people around you.
Use that connection. Maybe you have had some trouble lately but I urge you to decide today not to let it define who you are. Reach out to others who may have similar situations, get yourself into a local life group at your community church, call that person you have been avoiding. God is always in the business of taking your messes and finding a way to display His message. So spend some time today seeking out what He is asking of you. He’s never deaf to your pain or your prayers and it leaves me with this final thought. Even if you have nothing to say the prayers of a broken heart can sound even louder than the loudest hallelujah (that’s a lyric too). God’s not done yet my friend, just hold on the best is yet to come.