Spirituality for Today – August 2014 – Volume 19, Issue 1

A Grain of Dust

Rev. Richard Scheiner C.P.

A photo of stars in space

"In your sight the whole world is like a grain of dust that tips the scales, like a drop of morning dew falling to the ground." (Book of Wisdom 11:22-23)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if we could take all of history and, starting with today, reverse the spool of history all the way back to the Big Bang. If it were possible to do this, where would it lead us? Well, to begin with, we would learn from whence the infinite variety of the created universe, that we now inhabit and enjoy, came. If we could travel back in time, we would eventually find that primeval grain of dust, which was really a grain' of being, from which the created universe sprang. And, that grain of dust was truly the "grain of dust that tips the scales", as the Book of Wisdom tells us.

And here's a further thought to amaze us: in a material but very real way, we ourselves were present in the Big Bang. Words may begin to fail us when we realize that we are made of stardust. I say this, not to sound poetic, but simply to state what the astrophysicists tell us: we are truly made of stardust; the same chemical elements that formed the stars and planets are the very same elements that form our physical being. And so, we are grains of dust; but more, grains of dust possessing the very spark of the energy of creation, and the potential to tip the scales, to tip the scales in favor of life. We are truly a singular and unique revelation of God's mind and heart.

We are all grains of dust that must tip the scales in favor of life. We live in a world that so often tips the scales in favor of death, in life denying directions. We stand today on the brink of war with the very possibility of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people, being annihilated. As Christians, we are called to favor life in all its forms. And yet so often we must walk the journey of life in "the shadow of death."

Sometimes the choices we make along the path of this journey may, unfortunately, be more life-denying than life-affirming. We may fall prey to the deceptions and distortions that our society and culture impose on us. But it is at times like these that our faith should be there to sustain us as we go forward on the path through life. We must find our strength in the knowledge and conviction that we are known and loved by God, our Creator, and that he knows us in all our brokenness but loves us just the same. And that is quite a destiny for a grain of dust.