The Dust Girl

In today's high speed, low drag world, people are prospering, but at what cost?  As we speed along doing what WE want to, how many people are affected by US?  What happens to the most vulnerable people, children?

With selfishness as a culture, our kids are hurting.  We are programming our next generation to repeat our mistakes, if they live that long. 

Neglect, verbal, mental, and physical abuse knows no demographic boundary.  Look at some statistics.

  • "Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S." 1   
  • "Adolescents in general seem to be at an increased risk for self-injury, with approximately 15% of teens reporting some form of self-injury.  In addition, there seems to be a higher risk for self-injury among college students than among the general population, with rates ranging from 17% to 35%." 2   
  • "77% of students in the U.S. have been bullied in some way."3 

Here's a parable of where selfishness comes from, what the effects of it are, and the only thing that can heal it and the brokenness it leaves behind.
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Her green eyes brimmed with tears.  “My mother told me that she should have aborted me.  I’m a mistake. I’m crazy. I’m broken.”  The eruption of tears streamed from her eyes, down her face and mixed with her dust in a puddle on the floor.

I held the ashes of the dust girl in my arms.  I gently lifted her chin.  “Shhhh…Look. At. Me.” I whispered, “Shhhh….Listen. To. Me.” 
Her heaving chest quieted.

“Don’t let any of us adults or “sane” people fool you.  We are all damaged goods.  We are messed up by our own deceitful hearts and sometimes by others.  Out of those deformed hearts, come deranged words like your mom said and like you say to yourself. “ 
“You are mean to yourself aren’t you? ”

She nodded.
“From those words spring death, we act on them to sooth the pain.  In the end, we inflict death on ourselves because of the corruption of hearts.” 

“How have you acted on them?  What have you used to treat your pain?  Cutting, purging, binging, drugging, drinking, sleeping around?”
Crumpling further into my arms, she sobbed, “…all of them…all of them.”

I replied, “Shhh….listen.  Baby girl, the truth is:  God, who is love, loves you.
He loves you more than you can possibly ask, think or imagine. He has a plan and purpose for your life beyond what you can ever dream.  Your life is valuable beyond measure; therefore, it is worth living. You are a masterpiece.”

Still fighting the truth she said, “But I’ve done so many things wrong. I’m so broken.  How could I possibly be beautiful and worth loving?”
I looked into her eyes and asked her, “You are an artist. Tell me, what is paint?”

She answered, “Minerals that are ground into dust and mixed with water, oil, or latex.”
I probed further, “…and, tell me, what is a masterpiece?”

She whispered, “It is a work of art.”

I led her further, “…and how long does it take to make a masterpiece?”
Her eyes locked on mine, “…a long time, a life time.”

I asked“...at what point does the master put the paintbrush down?”
She stood up straight on her own , “…not until it is done.”

I said, “One last question, what does the artist do with the masterpiece once he is done?”
Relieved , she breathed, “The artist displays it for people to see.”

Friends, what brokenness are you sitting in?  Can you identify with the Dust Girl?
In order for you to be a work of art, you must submit yourself to the Master. Do you know Him?

You do not need to be a perfect, whole, and sinless to come to him.  In fact, it is the opposite. He wants you at your most imperfect, broken, and sinful because that is why he came.  Look at how Eugene Perterson translates Romans 5:6- 8:
“Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”  (Romans 5:6-8 MSG)

Creator God makes beautiful things from the dust and ashes of your life .  God makes masterpieces out of dust.
Who does that?  I’ll tell you who.  Love.  Love does. 

Chew On This: 
Do you need to know this kind of love?  Find it here.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. 1 John 4:16 NIV

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV
The law is for the self-righteous, to humble their pride.  The gospel is for the lost, to remove their despair.~ C.H.Spurgeon

Listen and meditate on the words of these songs:
“Love Does” by Brandon Heath


Prayer:
Creator God,

In our despair and brokenness, show us your hand so we might grasp onto it to  be pulled up and out of our misery. 
We are all formed by you in the dark and secret places.  You compose us like poems, like lyrics to a song that you sing over us.  You weave us together with your infinite array of colors and omnipotent mastery. 

Help us to value the life that you breathe into us.  Help us see the beauty that you see.  Help us find who we are truly meant to be in Christ Jesus.

Telephone, Hotlines and Help Lines:

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