Anybody who doubts God made man from dirt has never seen my dirt.
Seriously. I am in love. I look out the window and just stare. The kids pass me and stare at me. “You okay, Mama?”
I just nod and smile. And stare.
A week ago, my Daddy showed up at my front door. “Happy birthday!”
It took me a minute, considering that my birthday is no time soon. Then it hit me. I knocked him back with a bear hug. “Thank you, Daddy! My dirt!”
I raced outside, and sure enough, there it was. Daddy’s ancient dump truck, heavy laden with the most gorgeous dirt you ever saw. Coffee brown and crumply loamy. I choked on my squeal.
With help from clambering kids armed with shovels, rakes, and eager arms, he dumped all that dirt into a small mountain in the spot where I pretended to grow things last year in the rocky substrate left after construction.
“This stuff’s been under a shed for twenty years. It’s almost pure manure, aged and unleached.”
The joy. Picture a puppy with an open pack of bacon. That was me.
“Now, it’s full of weed seeds and Johnson Grass roots,” he said. “There’s limestone rocks from where the cows needed places to step. You’ll have to get all that out.”
“We will!” I started pitching out the rocks and showing the ugly evil roots to the little ones, who jumped right in to help.
He climbed in the old truck and rumbled away, and no white-hatted cowboy riding into the sunset was ever more appreciated. The kids and I dug in to leveling the mountain over the breadth of the garden.
As we worked, I knew my strength was limited. Ever since I first found out I was expecting twins two pregnancies ago, I’ve struggled with anemia. My strength has never fully returned. I worked, expecting to wilt at any moment.
It never happened. I dug, raked, pick-axed, and dumped wagonloads, but my strength remained. If anything, it increased.
“Mama, stop,” my son said. “You need to rest.”
I shrugged him off. “I’m not tired!”
“No, Mama, let us! We can do it!”
I ignored him. The sun and the soil felt so good. Well, the dirt drying on my hands was kinda fingernails-on-chalkboard. But so worth it.
Where’d All That Strength Come From?
Even though I’ve had mini-gardens since I’ve had the twins, I hadn’t dug in the dirt like this since before my iron plummeted. The spring I was expecting the twins was the first year, since I’d been married, that I had no interest in gardening. If only I’d known how badly I still needed it…
Interestingly, that was also the year I got my iPhone. Hmmm…
I haven’t felt the same vigor since my last big garden. I’m convinced that when God formed man from the dust of the ground, He wove the need for dirt as intricately in there as the need for food and intimacy.
Scientists have discovered a microbe in soil, Mycobacterium vaccens, that increases seratonin. Some have called M. vaccens “the new Prozac.” Simply walking over tilled soil can release those glorious microbes to transform our mood. Other soil pathogens like Rhizopus arrhizus contribute to a healthy gut, which makes everything better. You know?
For anyone with eyes to see and no educational biases to hurdle, it’s mind-blowing how obvious it is that Genesis is true. God made us from dust. He sent man to till the dust of the fallen world – not as a vengeful edict, but as a loving remedy for the inevitable evils that were sure to come with sin now in the picture.
The same loving Creator watched as man adopted the notion that we’ve evolved beyond our dust-like beginnings, choosing to worship ourselves instead of Him. For some reason, He allowed Himself to take on the dust-based flesh and blood He had invented and walk this filthy world with us.
Is It Any Wonder Jesus Talked So Much About Soil?
He healed a man’s eyes using dirt. Well, clay.
Faced with an accusing mob, He silenced them by writing with His finger on the ground.
He enlightened farmers for millennia with his parable about the four kinds of soil. Later he elaborated it into a powerful spiritual lesson for those with ears to hear.
He likened bitterness to an ugly root, like the despicable Johnson Grass that’s scattered throughout my garden, just waiting for warm weather so it can pop out and ruin my pretty beans and maters, multiplying into a forest of life-sucking weeds.
What a God. If even His lowest creation, dirt, can raise us up and teach us all manner of wisdom. What. A. God.
As I type this, I’m sitting outside staring at my beautiful dirt. Once it’s nice and raked, I can’t help but warn the kids, “Don’t mess up the nice clean dirt!”
They laugh, but I mean it.
It’s a Masterpiece.