Two Pieces of Paper

So, after about a year of wringing my hands, pacing and telling myself that I can write something interesting and readable, here is my leap into the blogging world. I have done short spurts of blogging previously, specifically with Lenten Lectio, but I’ve never regularly committed my thoughts and ideas to the digital cacophony of the internet. I pray that for a few people, my voice will rise above the noise to provide inspiration, provoke questions and produce deeper faith. With that, I begin with one of my favorite quotes that will hopefully frame the direction for this blog.

“Keep two pieces of paper in your pockets always. One that says ‘I am a speck of dust.’ The other ‘The world was created for me.’”
Rabbi Bunim

'NGC 6334' photo (c) 2013, Kanijoman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/We live in the glorious in-between. A “fascinating mystery” if you will. On one hand we are beginning to realize that we are a very small part of a large, dark and mysterious universe. We are but a small blip on the timeline of creation and a slight twinkle through the ever present and swirling darkness of the universe. However, in that swirling darkness we have yet to discover a planet and life such as ours. We are unique among the potential of infinite possibilities within the universe. On the bell curve of possibilities within the universe, we are at the fringes.

We are unique and insignificant at the same time.

The Genesis story in the Bible reminds us of this as well. God creates so much else before he digs his “hands” into the dust to create humanity. Light, dark, day, night, dry ground, water, sky, birds, fish, livestock, bugs, trees, and fruit all come before humanity. We were the last element of the great work of art God was toiling over. If Creation was a Bob Ross painting, we wouldn’t be the “happy trees” or “happy clouds”. Rather, it might seem that we would be the last curved brush strokes that make make up his signature in the corner. The last and seemingly most inconsequential piece to the rest of the work. Then, the Genesis account records God doing some unique things (for the sake of consistency, I’m sticking with Genesis 1).

1. Humanity is made in God’s image – Genesis 1:26 
2. Humanity is given charge over creation – Genesis 1:26
2. God blesses humanity – Genesis 1:28
3. Creation is now awesome (“very good”, “supremely good”, etc.) – Genesis 1:31

None of these things are spoken over the rest of creation. Up until this point, the Creation is “good”. Now that the last brushstrokes have been made and Humanity has been placed on the canvas…Creation is “very good.” While we were the last, were were not the least. Humanity is the blessed, image bearers who are charged to care for this new Earth. We are the signature that signifies the artist.

We are specks of dust.

Yet, the world was created for us.

I believe this is the balance and tension we are called to live in throughout Scripture. Humanity is God’s prized piece of creation, his treasure and his joy. The pinnacle of all that God spoke into existence. But, that does not mean all other pieces are inconsequential. We might be the signature, but the signature alone means nothing without the masterpiece it is placed on. We are called to work with and care for creation. We are called to work with and care for the other image bearers around us. This is a vast, wide universe we find ourselves in. We are but a small element in its immense grandeur. If we suddenly vanished from the universe…it might just keep on spinning without our existence.

We are specks of dust. You are a speck of dust.

Yet, the world was created for us. The world was created for you, for him, for her, for them and for it.

All of this is just one piece of the fascinating mystery we find ourselves in. And I hope you will continue to join me as we explore it together.

Feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, share on Facebook, send out a tweet, or use whatever form of digital socializing you prefer.

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