Throughout the Bible, God consistently calls those who society has cast away. God looks beyond the dirt and dust from which we were taken and molds us into agents of God’s love and grace. The first person to see and name God in the Bible is Hagar. She was a runaway enslaved woman and a single mother, but in Genesis 13 the Lord appears to Hagar and she leaves that moment knowing she has seen God, she ultimately says “I have seen the one who sees me.” Paul murdered Christians, and God still makes him the most famous messenger. Peter denies Jesus not once, but three times and goes on to be considered the rock on which the church was built. When God calls each of us, our shortcomings and inadequacies have already been taken into account. God has factored in the “dirt” in each of us, and calls us exactly as we are. My go-to Ash Wednesday song is called Dirt by The Collection which ends with, “All that I can see is that You can’t see the dirt in me, and all that I can see is You.”

Thank you for qualifying us for your call, God. Help us to look beyond the dirt in ourselves and our neighbors in order to spread your love and grace in the world. Amen.

Claire Embil
English-Creative Writing and Religious Studies, Photography, 2021
LCM Board Student Representative

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Genesis 3:19