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Archive for May 17th, 2012

Chalk is cheap … I put those words together just knowing that there would someday be a message emerge from my clever creation of alliteration. Finally, months after creating the title in my “drafts” folder, I have figured out how to use it.

Back in the caveman days of my youth, we did not have dust free white boards, or clever ‘Smart Boards’, we had chalk boards. They were usually green or black, and the teacher wrote on them with chalk (or, if the class got out of hand, the teacher would scratch his or her fingernails on it, sending shivers down our back that would last until bedtime). Chalk … dry, dusty, chalk.

As a young student, I LOVED chalk boards! I loved how the chalk moved across the board, and I loved how easy it was to get rid of mistakes, because the eraser eliminated any trace of what I had written … except for the mound of chalk that would fall as things were erased, like a pretty pile of snow in winter.

That mound of chalk dust would lie on the shelf, at the bottom of the chalkboard, until a teacher cleaned it off into the garbage, or a classmate with a mischievous look in their eye, would sweep it into his (lets face it, it was almost always a male) hand, then he would blow it into the faces of whoever he wanted to make sneeze, and coat their faces with the white stuff.

I imagine that many of us still have that fine chalk dust coursing through our lungs, creating who knows what sort of health hazards.

To me, that chalk dust is like the impact of how we live our days, on the lives of others.

Like chalk on a chalk board, we write our messages, we teach our lessons, and we make our mistakes.

Like chalk on a chalk board, we write and write, we work and work, and the dust is all that remains in the end.

Like chalk on a chalk board, the dust of our day falls haphazardly through the air, through our community, through our circles, and we have little control over where it might land.

Like chalk on a chalk board, the impact of the dust of our days living lands, and it can be swept away to the trash, or it can get into the fabric of what it touches.

The dust of our days living, lands and sticks to the fabric of another person’s life. Our lives are not untouched by the lives of others. We are interwoven into the fabric of each others lives. We are a part of a bigger picture in the world, and the dust of our days impacts those around us.

For some, the dust of our days is like the beautiful vision of pure, white snow, feeling soft and gentle. For others it is like a dust cloud being forcefully blown into our faces, making us cough and gag.

Although we “are dust, and to dust we will return” (Genesis 3:19), the impact of our days lands or blows into the lives of others. We need to live knowing that we can either be an irritation or a blessing.

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