“We are animated dirt. Soil and life joined. From living ground we were made; to living ground we will return.” Diana Butler Bass in Grounded
We were at a family birthday party several years ago when TBC told me that she had discerned her life’s work: “I’m called to the dirt,” she said.
As the great granddaughter of farmers, she would be joining a family trade, but in a way that would be unrecognizable to her 20th Century ancestors.
It occurs to me that – upon the birth of Jesus for which we prepare this season- God was called to the dirt. God became dirt. For a more eloquent & complete breakdown of this, please read Grounded– Diana Butler Bass’ most recent book- especially Chapter One.
I love Diana’s insight that spirituality as we have experienced it has been a horizontal endeavor marked by tall steeples and elevated pulpits. But the marks of a God known as Emmanuel- God with us– is a wholly different concept. This God not only became dirty by engaging in earthy, gritty human life. But this is a God willing to die in the thick of human imperfection and injustice.
All of us – farmers, preachers, clothing designers, baristas- all of us human beings are called to the dirt in order to nourish the world with all that is good. It’s the most basic of Advent messages.