Dusty Hands

God spoke oceans, lady slippers, galaxies, amoebas, and platypuses into existence with simple generalized words. “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place.” “Let the earth bring forth grass.” “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven.” “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life.” “Let the Earth bring forth the living creature after his kind” (Genesis 1:9, 11, 14, 20, 24).

Most details of creation were formed by the timeless Word.

But not you and I. No, man was taken in Hand. God bent over, picked up some new earth, and began to form Adam.

He smoothed out Adam’s broad forehead and considered everything his brain would think, remember, and imagine. Perhaps, he swirled curls or swept an unruly cowlick into his hair.

He rounded smooth cheeks and pressed every wrinkle into the ear, perfectly forming them to hear the laugh of a chimpanzee, the whisper of trees, and the torrential crash of a waterfall.  Perhaps then, God began to cry as He worked.  These ears, too, He knew, would hear the desperate bleats of the lamb dying for sin.

He gently pressed the curved eyelids, closed over eyes that would shimmer in wonder, glower in anger, and witness the first flower bloom and the second son dead.

Did God’s eyes drip tears as he formed the firm lips that would name each animal, kiss Eve, but remain too silent when the serpent spoke? Then, he formed the strong chin and lean neck and the slight bulge in the neck—a bulge we today call Adam’s apple, an allusion to the piece of a lie that all mankind tries and tries and tries to swallow and hide inside.

God continued to make muscular shoulders and arms that would tend the garden, till the ground, and carry Adam’s children and grandchildren.  On each arm, He placed a hand with dextrous fingers that would cup a water lily and build stone altars.

Inside Adam’s chest, He placed a heart to beat with the rhythm of time and the blood of life that generations later would leak out of the hands and feet of the second Adam to give life to all.  Perhaps, here God paused and sobbed.

Then, He carried on carving strong legs and sturdy feet that would carry Adam to his daily work and bend to worship.

After that, He turned to Adam’s face once more, and God bent low “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

God saw His work as very good—very good, but not perfect.  Because even as God dusted the last fragments of earth off His fingers, He knew that Earth would sully the Glory He placed in man.  He knew that the only redemption for Earth’s imperfection would be Divinity becoming dust-bound, deserted, dead.

Yet, God also knew that even as He dusted off His Hands, the Redeemer would shake off death, and anguish and mortality for every son of Adam.



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