…..a clean heart, O God
and renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away from Thy presence
And take not Thy holy spirit from me
Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me.
I’ve always loved this song sung in church – so much that I made it my screen name, the name coming to me in a dream when I’d wanted something to reflect something about me. At the time, it was not only the song I loved, but it also reflected the creative soul I have within.
It’s strange that I love this song so much because the words have always rubbed me the wrong way! It sends the message that I hear from the traditional church pews that says “You are a sinful being!” “You need a savior to absolve you from your wickedness!” Surely, I have made some mistakes in my life, as we all have, but I believe with every ounce of my being that we are created as Good.
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.~ Genesis 1:27
A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God ~1 Corr 11:7
…and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. ~ Eph 4:24
So this focus on being sinful, bad, wicked has always sent fingernails down the chalkboard of my soul. Even the message on Ash Wednesday “You are dust and dust you shall return,” seems to suggest you are nothing and are doomed to nothing without the saving grace of Jesus as your personal savior. Perhaps it’s a message to keep us connected to the church; that we need saving from our core wickedness and are therefore dependent on attending and supporting.
What if we knew instead that we are One in the Spirit, the entire creation, not just us as humans, who are interconnected with one another on various micro and macro levels. This is what emergent quantum scientists tell us. We share the same molecules with all; all through our seen world and into the cosmos. Indeed, that we are made of stardust! One in the creator, in the spirit. What hope! What a sense of eternal community and power that is present always. Not just when we repent our sinfulness and come crawling back to the Father for forgiveness with our tail between our legs.
Certainly, there are times in our life for that. Sin, however, has come to mean to me a focus away from what is in harmony with your spirit – or God or Shekinah or Higher power. It’s the rat wheel of life, our racing around each day to fill it up, our egos that tell us we need to have more, be more, the activities we choose to stuff in the cracks that are spilling out pain, insecurity, stress. And surely, when unaware of what we are doing, when our eyes are turned away from our Spirit, it can cause us to do some appalling acts. But that is not who we ARE. We are not wicked people. We are made in the Creator’s image. We are human. Which means that our egos and self centeredness get in the way all the time, until we awaken, open our eyes once again, and turn to our center. Our spirit. Further, the Eternal does not “cast us away” or take our spirit from us – we do! When, in being human, we jump back on the busy wheel of life.
So this song, this song I love so much that I was given the name in a dream to depict my creative soul now says to me: Keep my eyes turned to the Eternal so that I may be awakened again from my blindness in human living. Help me keep seeing You, refocusing my sight so that I may be restored in the fullness of Your creation! Help me to remember I am One with You. Indeed, made of stardust….and returning to stardust every time I turn my focus to my center in You.