Blog 2170 – 09.25.2021
Dust Is Just A Little Of Us Left Behind
Dust is typical of many of the recurring things in life. I had to smile when I saw the above framed words to live by. Some probably do as you can tell by how dusty their homes and work spaces are, but those of us who choose a cleaner place to reside and to work in and cannot afford a regular professional house cleaning service have learned that dusting is not so hard a task to do, just one that requires repetition. Just like taking a bath, once is never enough. But then, most if not all things in life require some regular maintenance.
Many people loath change, but in a changing world that attitude is one that leaves a person always at odds and out of sorts with one’s environment and the people they must share it with. European immigrants found North America thick with forests and though not quite as thickly populated it was peopled when we got here so we can hardly say we discovered it. Sadly in the name of profits and progress we set about immediately deforesting and depopulating the place. Actually we decreased the native population (a nicer way of saying murdered) while growing large families of free labor to do most of the work till we hit upon the idea of cheap later immigrant labor in the north and slave labor primarily in the less industrialized south.
There is a line in a cover karaoke song that I have shared many times, several actually that appeal to me. The one I am thinking of is: “Dust in our eyes, our own boots kicked up, all along the way we picked up…” Most of our problems are self-inflicted. I know it is considered ill-mannered to blame the victim for their illness or to berate the sufferers for their own behaviors that resulted in their suffering, but the fact of the matter is that the root cause of all our problems big and small is “us.” And no, the devil did not make us do it, unless we identify the devil correctly as ole puny Ego, our own creation. In that case, the devil did indeed make us do it. Well, to hell with him, her, the only one deserving of even such a mythical place of eternal torment. Put the bastard or bitch to sleep. It is the humane thing to do.
Am I just kicking up so much dust? Well, maybe so, but it looks like it is high time we cleaned house and did a little dusting. The main line in the song says, “We’re better off for all that we let it.” But, there is at least one glaring exception and tag, Ole Slew foot, you are it, you dusty ole villain you.
Jesus once referred to Peter, yes the same Peter rumored to have later become the first Pope of Rome, as Satan. The word though thought to be another name for the Devil is actually a word that means, “accuser of the brethren.” All words have meaning just like Jesus, Greek for Joshua, means, “savior” and Christ means, “anointed.” Just before Jesus called Peter “Satan” he had bragged on him for his answer to the question, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter had proudly and loudly proclaimed, “You are the Christ (the anointed), son of God.” Jesus replied, you got that right, Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. (Peter means “Little Rock” but many Bible scholars believe the rock that Jesus was referring to here was the testimony that Peter had just made about the his being anointed. Jewish folk were anointed, appointed to do special jobs, usually important jobs like being a priest or a king. Jesus has been referred to as both of those, but the primary task he was anointed for was to be the opposite of Ego or Satan, not to accuse his brethren, but to defend them and lift them up, sisters too.
I started to say that Jesus had bragged on Peter just before he had called him Satan. The Satan comment was a response to Peter opposing Jesus’ plan to go to Jerusalem and lay down his life for his family, his church, everyone really. After calling Peter, Satan, Jesus went on to explain why, because Peter was opposing The Plan. The plan had always been to reclaim from Ego, the Devil, this world that he had claimed Lordship over, since Adam and Eve left Eden, big mistake, got their feet dusty the first time waking away from God, the only home they had ever known or ever would, dust free.
Two of Jesus bad boys, twins actually, James and John, he called Boanerges, which means “”sons of thunder.” He called them that for they had asked him for permission to call down fire from heaven on those in a certain town who had opposed the message Jesus had asked them to preach there. Jesus went on to tell the boys that when they left a city that rejected the message to just shake the dust off their sandals as a testimony against those erring folks. Jesus knew how much we like rituals. Dusting is a ritual. It is a religious thing and expresses a belief in a better world awaiting us all, a world where everyone cleans up their own mess. Dust is, after all, just a little of us left behind.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
All That We Let In