lenten journal: dusting


The important thing is that you have a lot of skin cells. Of those billions of skin cells, between 30,000 and 40,000 of them fall off every hour. Over a 24-hour period, you lose almost a million skin cells. Where do they all go? The dust that collects on your tables, TV, windowsills and on those picture frames that are so hard to get clean is made mostly from dead human skin cells. In other words, your house is filled with former bits of yourself. (Discovery Health)

“From dust you came and from dust you shall return . . .”


it’s been two weeks since ash wednesday
when the pastor marked my forehead
and told me I would return to dust,

tonight I was reminded it is already
happening — I spent all day dropping
cellular dust like day old breadcrumbs

I’m not the man I was last year, or the
child from long ago who has my name,
even so I am recognizable dust: living,

breathing, leaving souvenirs and reminders,
shedding incarnational memories to be
layered over by those who will follow

layer upon layer of what was making
way for the dust that has yet to be; old
bones, like new wine, needs new skin

I will run my finger along the window
sills of my life to feel the dust of
dreams and demise and to hear once

more the call to see the great cloud
of witnesses, shed what encumbers,
and leave little bits of love everywhere.



  1. Beautiful. Thank you for your daily Lenten faithfulness to seeing and writing your life. You are helping me to see my own more clearly.

  2. I so often complain about the layer of dust filtering through, coating everything in the house
    thank you
    perhaps now I shall rejoice instead
    that more and more pieces of me are dying
    that He might fully live in me

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