Dirt by Mary Marantz

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading


Day One 

The God Who Drew Close

Scripture: Isaiah 61:1–11

God never started out for me as someone I feared. In fact, the earliest memory I have of God is lying in bed at night, talking to Him through the windows in my room as He sat among the stars.

My bedroom was on one end of our trailer, where the farthest wall was made up of three threadbare aluminum windows. I say threadbare, because at the time not a one of those windows had a curtain or a blind on it. I guess back then I was still at an age where things didn’t need to be kept hidden. 

God could look right in on my life and see everything. 

This was not a God I ever remember anyone telling me about. This was not the wrathful God I would later meet in church, someone to be afraid of. And it was not the exclusive God I would later see some people make Him out to be, someone who told other people they didn’t belong with Him. This was the God I seemed to have always known as a best friend, the one who came and visited me at my window. Face-to-face and free of fear. He was the God who drew close enough to leave marks across my life. 

Long before anyone told me what He should be. 

Shortly after that, God started meeting me outside in the yard during the daylight hours. When He wasn’t in the stars, He was everywhere. He was in the green of the grass, down to the very pigment. He was in the birds stepping into flight, wings spread wide in defiance of gravity, far from the tether of their branches.. He was in the way that thin layers of mud, once dug out from the cold, hard ground, would dry on your hands and stay with you the rest of the day. As if once it left its mark on you, you couldn’t forget how it felt. 

He was color and freedom and fire and dirt. 

And His was the voice that told me someday all of this was going to make so much sense. He was going to use it all. The messy, the hard, the broken, the beautiful. One day He was going to put words to it. And then I’d see. 

My story wouldn’t be wasted. 

Question: What is your earliest memory of God?