Beautiful Dust

You are dust and to dust you shall return.

It seems a bizarre and far-off prospect, that day when this body I know so well will be like the dust on which I now walk. And yet I believe those words above go beyond the physical—and when they are interpreted as spiritual, they become an in-the-moment reality.

We are called to return to dust today, for unless a grain of wheat falls to ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.

It is death of self. It may mean simply wiping clean a sticky spot on the floor, or coming when the six-year-old calls. It may be more difficult, like shutting down the computer before you’re pulled into a sinful habit, or placing a hundred dollars into the collection basket. Every moment we choose to die is a moment when a new fruit comes into existence and is fixed into history—not only your personal history, but the universal history too. Souls pulled from darkness by the love discovered in your eyes, your hands, your words. Beautiful things can come from dust. It must be why, way back in Eden, God looked at the dust beneath his feet and thought, Ah, now from this I shall bring into being my greatest creation. And man was born.

Every moment you choose to die—and in doing so bear fruit—you are sharing in God’s creative power. And how great it is indeed.

On to Another Island

Knock and the door will be opened. Few times have I experienced this truth as I did last week.

It has been burning on my heart—the desire to go to Prince Edward Island. Even before I left Nahant, I asked myself what I would do afterward, and like a spark flaring in the dark, this thought came: to Canada’s smallest province I would go. Since then, the desire has only grown.

Last week I finally decided to connect with fellow Catholics on PEI. Little did I know, but the night before I sent my email, a husband and wife prayed that God would send help into their bustling life . . . and that the Holy Spirit would make His will clear.

My email was forwarded by one kind woman to her friends, certain there would be a family among them who would accept my offer to live with them as a “family missionary”. She was right.

I spoke on the phone with the couple soon after I received their reply. Seven kids, homeschooled, living on a wooded acreage outside Charlottetown—and they love to go on spontaneous adventures. I think it’s safe to say this match was made in Heaven.

Wonder of wonders. I realize now that I can trust that burning desire on my heart . . . because it was planted there by God. I cannot tell you how beautiful it is, how awe-inspiring, to be aware that He is unfolding His plan before my eyes. My years at home after high-school taught me to find purpose in doing little things with great love, which prepared me to live with my four Italians on Nahant—which prepared me to live with an even bigger family on PEI. At this rate, it looks like I’ll be running an orphanage next.

Yes, knock and the door will be opened. I’m taking that one much more seriously now. Not long from now, much sooner than spring, I will again find myself soaring through the sky, bound for the unknown.