Drawing in the Dust
There was a silence when we began. The quiet rise and fall of lungs filling with air, the whispered hush of a breath drawn in and a breath exhaled.
We didn’t begin with a loud bang. We didn’t begin with a “Let there be- and it was so”. We didn’t begin with words at all. We began with breath. And mud (Genesis 2:7).
Spoken words created everything else in all of creation, but with us, God stood speechless and reached down into the clay. He found no words to describe us into being. Just His touch. Personal. Just His breath. Close.
When God formed the first human beings into humanity He knelt down into the grit of things and let the cool clay clump between his fingers and cake on His palms. When He created humankind, He got grit under His fingernails and dust around His wrists. His hands got dirty. And He worked. Putting His all into us.
When God’s love led Him to spill Himself over into mud, to pour His life, His Breath into the mud of us it got messy. His hands got dirty.
We alone in creation began with grace. Grace that was formed for us before we were formed. Grace came first for us. It always has. Even before our breath.
‘He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.’ 2 Timothy 1:9
After everything broke and humanity reached breathless for the dark, He didn’t leave. He stayed close. Walking alongside us. But we forgot. We forgot our breath and wallowed in the mud, wheezing for air while strangling it out of ourselves and one another, gasping for the breath that once was us, the grace that once was ours.
And we still crave it in our secret silence like nothing else on earth. This grace. This love that loves us anyway, though we’re caked in mud. We crave it because we know, somewhere in the ancient recesses of our psyche, it is what we were formed for, what we were given. What we lost. We think. And we reach for it in a thousand broken ways, searching a thousand human faces, looking for the traces of His, the signs of His heart. His heart that loved us anyway. And we stretch ourselves inside out, reaching for love, reaching for connection, reaching for closeness and fulfilment.
And breathless we fall.
Prey to a world full of mud.
Just as she did.
Two thousand years ago…
It had felt like love. At first. And with every word he took her breath away. There was something in his eyes she could not name, could not resist, could not refuse.
He drew her.
Like a moth.
About to burn.
“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group…” John 8:3
There’s a point in which a group becomes a mob, feeding off each other’s certainty and pride, collecting breathless fervour with every step; a collective mind, collective aim, collective drive.
There was something in their shared energy they could not name, could not resist, could not refuse.
They dragged her, through the dirt.
They drew her, through the dust.
They had all they needed now.
They had her.
Like bait upon a hook, like a trap waiting to snap.
They had Him. They thought.