Sealed Dust.

Sunday, May 17th 2015

Genesis 3:19

“By the sweat of your brow

you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

and to dust you will return.”

Far too often I have thought higher of myself and that I was safe. I have thought “Well, I’m not as bad as that person” and “At least I’ve got it more together than they do” and believing that because I’m better, I receive a “get out of hell, free” card. I created a smokescreen for myself to render my thoughts to believe that I deserved Jesus. I designed a ruse to disguise my real intentions and activities FOR MYSELF. How stupid is that? I put in all this hard, useless work to try and trick myself into believing that I was worthy of grace. This consumed me and it was exhausting. Creating this facade for myself on a day to day basis; battling the bible to fit my material needs and make my immoral decisions moral. I was defining the Bible to me instead of me being defined by the Bible. And I still do this from time to time. Probably more often than I realize. 

How naive am I to think that I deserve His grace and the kingdom of heaven?!

I have spent majority of my short 21 years of life trying to convince myself that I am someone bigger; someone off on a better foot with Jesus than everyone else. In Genesis 3:19, in a lens of black and white, it says: “for DUST you are”.

I am merely dust.

Have you ever looked up a definition for dust? Here’s a few:

  • a low or humble condition
  • anything worthless
  • disturbance; turmoil
  • the mortal body of a human being

These definitions help remind me that I need to get off my high horse. We are low, feeble creatures compared to the Almighty and because we are human and God granted us free will, we are born sinners and naturally drawn to sin throughout our materialistic existence. Dust is the mortal body of a human being. Being dust sounds awful. Not that the word itself is appealing.

There are other definitions that show why being dust is a wonderful thing:

  • the ground; earth’s surface
  • the substance to which something, as the dead human body, is ultimately reduced by disintegration or decay; earthly remains.

Take a look at the Earth. It is beautiful and complex; wonderful and astonishing. God designed each and every one of us. He is engrained in our genes. He delicately created us and placed us on this beautiful planet. Even though it is sort of morbid (decaying and reducing to earthly remains and all), he is in us and he will never leave us while we return to the Earth from which he made us.

We are merely dust. Nothing more but nothing less. And God has intentionally made us that way.

This is when I started to discover God’s never-ending love and grace. After my realization of being dust, I started to wonder: “I am nothing but a feeble mortal being who has done nothing but ignore my calling as a follower of Christ and cripple my reputation as a Christian. Why has God not striked me yet?!” I was discussing this with my mom one day and she mentioned being sealed with the Holy Spirit and took me to Ephesians 1:13-14:

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.”

God will still claim me even though I am worthless; even though I am dust.

“…you were marked in him with a seal,…”

The word marked is defined as: strikingly noticeable, specifying on additional element of meaning. This means that I stand out to Him. God has claimed me and he looks at me and sees worth. Seal(ed) is defined as: a mark, sign, symbol, or the like, serving as visible evidence of authenticity. He has sealed himself within me, within us so we have an equal and guaranteed opportunity to inherit the riches of heaven. When we allow God into our hearts, to take over, he impresses a seal upon us as proof of exact quality. We are exactly enough and what he wants. It is overwhelming to know that that much grace is given to me. No matter how many times I mess up and stumble, I can ask for forgiveness and know that I am still loved.

I overestimate my worth and underestimate His grace.

God could put me in his palm and blow me into the wind; out of existence. Even though I am merely dust… I am marked and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

I have worth. I am claimed. By God’s mercy and grace, I am sealed dust.


Prompt #1: The Invisible House


Prompt: The entire neighborhood is beige and gray, but at the end of the street sits a bright blue house. Who lives there?

   Today is the day I am going to go to the invisible house. I’m walking up the front steps, ringing the door bell, asking the residence why their house is not beige or gray and not leaving until I get a reasonable explanation. A few weeks ago when it was late at night and all the neighborhood lights were turned off and everyone had gone to bed, I stayed up. Wondering about the invisible house. My train of thought was disrupted by a car driving down the street and stopping in front of the house. A dark figure climbed out, went into the house, and the car drove away as if it never happened. I was the only one to see it. I have to know why. I have to understand why. Who got out of the car? Why is their house different from mine? Different from all the houses? Different from everything?

          I have always noticed it wasn’t that same color as the others. All the houses in our neighborhood are the same; same design, same structure, same amount of property. The only difference is that each house is a gray or beige. But this house stands out. It isn’t beige or gray. It is invisible. It always has been to me. When I first asked my parents what color is was my mother laughed nervously, “Oh, Sampson. Are you having a hard time learning your colors and shades in school?” That cost me an extra two weeks of after school tutoring. I never asked my parents again after that. It’s not that I didn’t know my colors and shades. It’s that I didn’t know that color or shade.

          No one ever seemed to know what I was talking about. I would ask my friends while playing in our street, “What color is that house on the end?” They would laugh. “Come on, Sam. It’s beige. Like every other house. Literally,” Jake, my best friend, would answer. “No, it’s dark gray,” someone else would reply. They would bicker about it for a few minutes and then quickly forget as we continued playing our games. But I wouldn’t forget. They saw it as beige or gray. But to me it was invisible. As long as I knew, I was the only one who could see it. Moving up through school, we are only taught a few colors and their shades. Beige, gray, brown, white, and black. Never the invisible.

          I’ve studied the house while growing up. Other than it colored invisible, I’ve never seen anyone actually live in the house. At night, no lights are turned on and during the day no windows are open. There’s always been rumors going around school about the house.

“I heard that the people that live there have a terrible disease and it’s so contagious that the government doesn’t even mess with them. They send them care packages once a month.”

          I’ve already figured out that the rumors aren’t true since the house never gets mail or visitors. Except for that one night. I don’t ask anybody any questions about the house anymore. I might come off a bit obsessive and I don’t want to seem more weird that I already am. Why is it bad to be so curious about something that is so peculiar?

          Today, I get to feed my curiosity. I can’t sit around and wonder any longer now that I know someone lives there. It’s 1:30 P.M. All students from the Higher Adolescent Education Classes are being released and it gives me enough time to go to the invisible house, get my answers, and be back in time for dinner without my parents asking anything out of the ordinary dinner questions.

          I don’t even stop by my house to drop off my things while walking home from school. I’m too determined. Excited. Nervous. I make a quick glance at my mailbox. “House #487 – Reevus.” I look ahead. The invisible house is easily seen from my yard. At least it is to me. Sand and concrete crunch under my shoes. My body goes into auto pilot as I look around at all the houses. Why is everything the same? Why am I the only one that can see this invisible color? Is there anyone else like me, staying quiet? Soon enough I’m  standing next to the mailbox at the end of the sidewalk leading to the front door of this mysterious house. “House #499” with nothing following. Fear comes over me. What if the rumors are true? What if the people that live here are diseased? What if I catch it just from stepping on the porch? Will everyone know? Will I be able to go home? Then worse thoughts emerge through my sudden fright: What if they don’t open the door? What if no one can answer the questions that have been gnawing at me my whole life? 

          Hesitantly, I begin walking toward the porch. I study every inch of the property. Everything looks identical to every house in the neighborhood. Except the color. I’ve never been close enough to really look at it in detail. The color is deep; calming. Though my body is tense with anticipation my mind feels at ease staring at it. Is this the actual color or a shade of it? How does a color like this exist? Where can I find more of it? I stand in front of the door and press the doorbell. Seconds feel like minutes. Panic starts to rise in my throat as my greatest fear is coming true.


          The door slowly cracks open. The outside light reveals half a face peaking from within. A girl? Her face was soft and her cheeks were turning a darker shade. Blush. I think it’s called Blush. Her eyes at the same level as mine. Her eyes. They are the same color as the house; invisible. But a lighter shade and more vivid. They’re wonderful.

          The door slams shut as I’m broken from my gaze. I throw myself at the door. Pounding it with my fist.

          “What color?” I yell in desperation, remembering the reason why I’m here. “What color is your house?”

          I step back hoping that the door will reopen. I will see the girl with the wonderful invisible eyes and she will tell me. She will answer all my questions. The door doesn’t move. I look at the windows, searching for movement. Nothing. A note. A whisper. Anything would suffice. I stand on the porch. My mind restless. More questions floor my brain than ever. Who was she? Is she the figure that came from the car? Does she know the invisible color? Is she alone? I grab my head then pull my hands over my eyes, rubbing them. Trying to rub away the confusion. Maybe then things will be clear.

          “Tomorrow. I’ll come back tomorrow.”

to be continued….

– DevinDarling

Obliterate – part one

“Move, girl. I’ve been waiting for this for 10 years.”

The man shoved me from behind and I bumped into Holt.

“Hey, man! The line isn’t moving any faster than it is now. Relax,” Holt commanded.

The man cursed under his breath and crossed his arms.

“Wonder what he did that he’d want to forget so badly,” I whispered.

“Or maybe something was done to him…” Holt replied.

I gripped my jacket as the cold wind pierced it, almost like I wasn’t wearing a jacket at all. I pulled my hood down farther over my face. I felt like my eyebrows were about to freeze off.

I looked at the long line ahead of us. It wasn’t as slow as we had thought it would have been. The man behind us grumbled some more as we continued to shuffle forward.

“Curse those good for nothing men. Ten years wasn’t part of the deal. If I was free I woulda…” His voice soften and we heard no more from him.
Holt glanced at the man and then at me, “Told you.”

We began to walk into a tunnel that above read “Obliteration Center.”

It’s been five years since I’ve Obliterated. I don’t remember a single thing. All I remember is a book. A tattered, leather-bound book. But that’s it. Nothing else. I didn’t even remember my name, how old I am, my birthday, everything. I don’t know why. I have a number burned into my skin like everyone else that has Obliterated, but that doesn’t tell me anything. A lot of bad things must have happened to me. Or one thing that practically sent me over the edge to where I didn’t want to remember anything at all. Now though, I’m glad I don’t remember. Because if it was bad enough to where I didn’t want to remember my own name and birthday, then why would I want to live like that.

“What are you going to tell them that you want to forget?” I looked at Holt who had tied his hood strings so tight all you could see was his eyes and the tip of his nose.

“I could think of a couple things,” he looked up the line. About a hundred people left until we would make it to the front. He gave a big sigh. I could see the sulk in his eyes.

I stuck my hand in his coat pocket and grabbed his. It was warm. Why didn’t I do this before. His hand tighten as our fingers interlocked. I gave it a small squeeze of reassurance.

His mom and brother had been murdered by the government. His mom would never register for Obliteration and his brother was only nine. He wasn’t old enough to forget yet. He never knew why his mom stopped registering. The first time he choose to Obliterate was when he was 15. He told me he choose to because many people in his reservation were killed. That’s what his mom told him after he came back. He must have seen some gory stuff. She said to him “The past is our history. We must always know our history. The good and bad.” Holt never understood why she hated Obliteration and the government so much. I don’t really either. But now he has a reason. He hates Obliteration. But it’s the only thing that will help him to forget the pain and grief. Eventually, the government found out she was hiding and not Obliterating. They killed her and his little brother as punishment and example to the rest of the reservation.

He squeezed my hand a little tighter as we came closer to the front. The farther we went down the tunnel the colder is seemed to be. Echoes of people crying and cursing filled the tunnel.

We came in front of a giant toll-booth that block the rest of the tunnel. A gray-haired lady that looked like she was a thousand years old, dressed in a light blue uniformed blouse looked down on us.

“Together?” she asked nonchalantly. We both nodded.

“Names and ages.” She said.

“Holt Annawan. Twenty.”

I began to panic.

“I said what is your name?” Her eyes felt as if they were trying to fry the skin on my face.

My name is Robin, I thought to myself. But that’s not my real name. Not my old name. I started to call myself that when people asked who I was after I last Obliterated. And I have no idea how old I am. Holt and I just took a guess.

“I… I don’t know my real name or my age.”

She waved a hand up in exasperation, “Number then.”

I looked down at my left wrist. “3452.”

“Go on and pick a tunnel,” the sound of her raspy voice filled the tunnel, making me shudder.

We passed through the double doors with metal detectors and men with search dogs that smelled us as we walked passed. We came to two more tunnels that read “Complete Obliteration” and “Partial Obliteration.” The man behind us quickly walked by with his arms crossed, mumbling curses as he turned into the “Complete Obliterate” tunnel. Holt tugged on my hand as we walked into the “Partial Obliteration” tunnel. The tunnel felt as if all the oxygen was being sucked out. I huddled closer to Holt. No wonder I completely Obliterated last time. This place was creepy.

As we came to the end we were approached by a man and woman in white trench coats. The woman motion me toward her and began patting me down. I looked over at Holt as the same thing was being done to him. He had a stern, harden look. As if he was about to go into battle.

“Name and age,” she said monotonously.

“I don’t know. Here’s my number,” I showed my wrist.

“We gotta number!” She turned, “Follow me.”

I looked back at Holt and he gave me a reassuring look. “I’ll meet you outside.”

I followed the woman down a hall and into a large white room. Blindingly white. Everything was white. The equipment, the floor, the walls, the people. It was like looking a blank sheet of paper. After my eyes adjusted, I saw a long, reclined chair.

The woman patted the chair, “Let’s go, doll-face. We don’t have all day to erase your memories.”

The others in their white lab coats stared at me as I hopped into the chair. The woman reclined me back and placed a circular, metal band around my head. A black hologram screen popped in front of my eyes. Blank.

“We’re about to go in,” a man said.  “Just relax and think of past events that you want to forget.”

I began taking deep breaths. My muscles tensed and my mind began racing. How can anyone relax during this? I’m about to permanently erase memories. Suddenly, the hologram turned to changing colors like a mini aurora borealis. I saw visions from the past few years flash through. Meeting Holt. His mom and his brother. The reservation. Hunting and trading on the Black Market. Then the book. The aged, tattered leather book. Tied shut by string.


Screams echoed through the hallway and everything went black.