I do not buy those words, sacred and secular,

They’ve rent the world in two.


They take the magic from how a speck of dust catches the light

Or how the cadence of footfall is poetry.

They make too much of church casseroles

that do not feed the multitudes.

Blind adult eyes

Miss the current of wonder in each atom.


Imago Dei, we walk around

Blind to veiled glory

We use our hands for the washing up

Slathering lotion, we repair our raisin fingers

Blind to the miracle

Of water, soap,

and how all things can be made new.


It’s so like dust to forget

We look in the mirror and God

Is made in our tired image.

We see him in our liturgies

But cannot find him in the dirt and dirty dishes.

Dust to dust.


But what is God

Other than our dust,

our bread and wine?


How do we know God

Except through blood and water?


Let me grasp the stuff of earth to find the stuff of God.


Poets, draw lines in sand, show me the beauty of dust.

Singers, play the music of the Star,

But give me, too, the magic in the straw and blood of the manger.

Preachers, show me the poetry of shepherds running,

How the good news makes our tired lungs rejoice.


It is all holy.


Teach me to feel the divine spark on an ordinary Wednesday.

Ashley Hales is a writer, speaker, church planter's wife and mother to 4. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Her first book, Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much, releases in October with InterVarsity Press. She's written for Books & Culture, The Gospel Coalition, inTouch Magazine, Christ and Pop Culture, (in)courage, and other places. Connect with Ashley at aahales.com, or on Instagram and Twitter.


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