(This is blog #3 about songs featured on my new project “Creation EP”.)
9 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
We’ve all been there. That moment when you know you’ve blown it. You screwed up and now you have to deal with it. You saw something you wanted, and you took it. A thing, a feeling, a position. You wanted it and you made it happen, and in your mind ignoring what the consequences may or may not be. You said it and now you can’t take it back. You ate the fruit. For a few moments, it was sweet. It was a rush, a wave of adrenaline, but in your gut you knew it wouldn’t last. You may have proved a point, but it wasn’t the point you wanted to prove.
“To the Dust” is about that moment. It’s about that feeling of disconnection when you hurt someone you care for. Adam is in the garden, and he and Eve swayed from the path, and it interrupted their communion with the divine. What they wanted, they got, and it turns out that what they wanted wasn’t good for them.
“Sin” is a funny thing. For a long long time we’ve used the Scriptures as a rulebook. Do this, don’t do that. Say this, believe this, don’t believe that. Love these people, exclude those people. Obviously, the Scriptures give us great insight on how to avoid hurting ourselves and the people around us. Most of these principles found in Scripture are there for our own protection, and for good reason. Every day we see the results of actions that hinder human flourishing.
But I think, it goes deeper than that. Deeper than set of rules and regulations. I like to think of it as a flow. We all make mistakes. All of us, all the time. And I don’t think it’s healthy to beat ourselves up over it. Move on, make it right, and try to do better. But the flow, that’s in the heart. When we separate ourselves from this divine flow, that’s what I think sin truly is, and sometimes it takes us a while to even recognize the separation. We cut our communion with God and deep down we long for restoration. We long for the divine breath to “breathe us back to life”. I think this is why men like David, who was an adulterer and a murderer, was called a man after God’s own heart. He was in that flow.
People like to hypothesize about Adam and Eve. What if they never did this or that?Honestly, those questions aren’t that interesting to me. What is interesting to me is how we overcome our shortcomings. How we love each other through it. How we forgive, and restore. How we make things right. How we have community even though we’re diverse in appearance, beliefs, and culture. David paid the price for his actions, and so did Adam. They caused much pain, suffering, and grief. But it wasn’t too much to be overcome by the divine. What would our concept of restoration be if we had never experienced separation? They are inseparable, at least here on this planet, and I think there is a grand lesson to be learned there. Richard Rohr states “God refuses to be known intellectually. God can only be loved and known in the act of love; God can only be experienced in communion.” I love stories of forgiveness, love, and reconciliation, and I am hopeful that I can make my own life one of those stories. That is what “To the Dust” is all about.