Gold Dust

The rain trickled down the car window in shiny rivers, blurring the outside world into a grey, muffled cocoon.  My brother drove silently; my two sisters slept, and I, in the back seat, also kept the silence, lost in my own thoughts after a long and tiring day.

I leaned my head back against the seat and watched the smudged cars and blinking city lights whirl past in the melting twilight. A music album I didn’t know was playing in the background, and I half-listened to the unfamiliar tunes, my ears slurring the words in my tired state. But despite the peace of the quiet car and the soft music, it seemed that my mood was being coloured by the day outside, and my thoughts gradually became more and more grey.

The droplets drummed on the roof, the wheels swished through the rain, and the tears began to pool as I shivered, suddenly cold, suddenly caught in a flurry of hurried and hurting thoughts. Then one phrase throbbed heavily into my heart, as I gazed out at the crying landscape:


“I am not worth keeping.”

The thought was as unexpected as it was painful, and in seconds my mind had flown back over buried memories – memories I had thought were hidden for good. Memories of friendships lost, of trust broken, of painful misunderstandings… all gathered to accuse me with the nagging thought, the frightening feeling that I was too easily cropped out of others’ pictures.

I staggered emotionally through the haze of flashbacks and fears. Could all this hurt still dwell in me? Could all this pain still cut so deep?

The tears poured hot and silent down my cheeks. The rain poured frigid and dark in a cloudy grey fog. The words poured sharp and cruel through my heart, slicing me with their dissonant mantra:

“I am not worth keeping.”

Part of me held fast, defiant and angry that these words would try to bruise me so. But part of me had already given in to despair, wrapping my heart in the cold cloak of sorrow, slowly crumpling beneath the harsh discouragement.

The tears fell, the rain fell, the words fell.

“I am not worth keeping.”

At that moment, as I swayed on the edge of raw grief and pain, the music track changed. The next song began to play; still part of this unknown album, still completely foreign and unfamiliar to me.

wpid-20131231_200307.jpgBut with the opening piano arpeggios and the low hum of the deep bass chords, a vivid image suddenly blazed into my mind. I stared wide-eyed out the rain-washed window, seeing nothing that was before me. Seeing only a glowing, growing picture in my mind…

A man stood on a stage, relaxed, ready to sing. A microphone stood before him on its base, and he lifted a hand to free it and hold it firmly, his graceful movement illuminated in the soft blue spotlight.

The wings and backstage were in darkness. The seating area before him was also in hushed darkness. There was no audience, no orchestra, no director.

Just this man, alone, centre stage.

He wore dark grey pants, a silvery-blue shirt, and black polished shoes. His dark blonde hair was stylishly cut, short on the sides and swept over on top in the style of many pop artists.

I caught my breath, as I suddenly realised that his eyes – a strong grey blue – were looking straight at me from my viewpoint on stage right. He held me in his gaze, and I could do nothing but stare back. We looked at the other, not speaking, not moving, waiting as the song preliminaries softly built around him. And I suddenly knew two things.


One: this man, this pop star, was Jesus.
Two: whatever this song was, whatever I was about to hear, he was going to sing it for me.

The chills swept up my spine, the air was thick with anticipation, his and mine. The grey words from before still hovered in the background, but I barely saw them. Somehow I knew that when he began to sing, they would disappear completely out of the picture.

My heart thumped wildy as Jesus, handsome and poised, confident and kind, lifted the microphone to his lips and took a breath. My skin tingled, my ears gasped… and the music suddenly spilled over me  like a gentle beam of light. My entire being was smothered in wonder and beauty as he sang, and I soaked in the splendour of the performance.

He sang with such raw depth and feeling that I was completely swallowed up in the sound. His passion ebbed in every note, his love painted each word, and I realised that he was not only singing, but singing desperately. He sang with every fibre of his being poured into every word. He sang, desperate that I hear this song, desperate that I would know it was him singing, desperate that I would understand, unshakeably and unfathomably, the simple truth of this song. That this song was to me. This song was for me.

And he sang.13035643_1037207126333844_849740763_o

“You’re like Gold Dust
It rains over me
A foreign sun that I thought I’d never see

You’re like Gold Dust

Oh don’t change
No don’t change
There’s a
Hollow in this house whenever you go

You’re like Gold Dust
It rains over me
A foreign sun that I thought I’d never see
You’re like Gold Dust

Down that street
There’s a
Hollow in this house whenever you go

You’re like Gold Dust…”

The last shadows of self-doubt flickered and died. The broken pieces of my soul lifted gracefully to listen in fresh, golden hope.

And I – staring out into the driving rain while the tears poured down my face – I knew the truth. The real truth that laughed in defiance at the forever-vanquished “I am not worthy…”. The solid truth that had flashed before my eyes in the form of a glowing vision.

I had felt it shiver up my spine. I had heard it flow forth in an unknown song. And now I knew it for myself.

Jesus was a pop star. His song was me.

And I was…

gold dust



Gold Dust © Emma McGeorge 2016
Photos used with permission

One thought on “Gold Dust

  1. […] piece was originally published as “Gold Dust” by Emma McGeorge. Emma is an Italian-South African with a New Zealand passport, living in Papua New […]

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