Why my heart sings while my body groans {Loved dust: the Advent version}

Most days I’m aware of my dustiness. This morning is no exception. I wake early after a half-slept night. My body groans as it faces the day. But today, my heart breaks free from the groaning, soars and sings the good news instead.

For it is good news to be a creature made of dust in the hands of a gracious God. The Heart that dreamed you, the Hand that shaped me, doesn’t forget our Breath-filled-clay beginnings. He doesn’t forget that though we bear the dignity and glory of His image, we are still shaped of mud, a Hand-spun clay jar at once unique and easily broken. Though I may forget and try to shoulder the burden, He always remembers that I am not built to bear the weight of the world, but only the light that is placed within me. And while He’s bearing the weight of the world, He carries me too, His fragile treasure, gently, carefully, forever. In my transience and vulnerability, I discover myself loved.

But that’s not all my heart sings. For He not only remembers our dustiness, He has worn it. Year round, we remember that he bore our sins. Advent reminds us that He also wore our frailty.

Too often I forget that the two are different.

How is it that without even realizing, I’ve let the world shape my understanding that limits are bad and frailty is failure? I’ve seen it lately, how often I confuse sin and weakness. Both are falling short. But one is falling short of God’s expectations, and one is falling short of my own. There’s a world of difference.

God lived our weakness, our natural, human limitations. Good limitations, even, for they remind me that I’m not God, keep me dependent on the One who is.

Twice over God declared our limited flesh ‘very good,’ once when newly made and again when he took flesh himself, forever joining The Holy to our flesh, making fragile flesh the place of communion, the Most Holy Place where He offers himself to us, and we to Him, in mysterious and sacred union.

Weakness is not a problem to be fixed, but a space to be filled. And the very place where His coming is most likely to be welcomed.