In the last week, I’ve been thinking about dirt. Dirt of all kinds. From tiny grains of sand that make up our local beaches, to the fertile dark black
dirt in the flower beds at our home. In Georgia, the dirt was a red rusty colored clay, and I am not sure it was useful to anyone except a potter.
Now, I will confess, I am not a gardener. In fact, I overwatered by a misting once every two months, the assorted desert cacti I bought in
the Phoenix airport after spending a summer my freshman year in Arizona. I, however, love the smell and the beauty of a wonderful garden. So, when I think of
gardening, I like to think I have great visionary plans of gardens mimicking those found along hedgerows and country lanes in Britain. But alas, it is not so. But I do enjoy getting out and doing some grunt work. I do enjoy being in the outdoors, breathing fresh air, and acquiring a farmer’s tan.
Martin Luther King, Jr’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail, is one of the most important documents from the Civil Rights era. In that letter, King wrote a series of justifications for civil disobedience and the civil rights movement. MLK was not afraid to get his hands dirty and neither were the thousands of his supporters, human rights advocates, clergymen and clergywomen, just to name a few. This month is the 60th anniversary of the Letter from
Birmingham and the link below provides an insightful discussion organized by the Center of Faith and Justice in the YouTube video, Letter from a Birmingham Jail at 60.
https://www.youtube.com/watch? The same applies to Christian life. As disciples of Christ, we are expected to get dirty. We are expected to minister to the unclean, the unhoused, the poor, and the list can go on and on. Sometimes, Christian ministry gets muddy. But it is then that something great happens.
According to John Eudes “You are the place where God chose to dwell, you are the topos tou theou (God’s place), and the spiritual life is nothing more or less than to allow that space to exist where God can dwell, to create the space where His glory can manifest itself.
In that space is God, a God of Hope, and a God who works in mysterious ways. Great things happen when we let go and let God. Yes, we have to show up. Yes, we have to do the grunt work. But then we can sit back and watch God bring the puzzle pieces together. That is what Jesus talked about throughout his ministry. Every part of his ministry was to shed a light on God. To let God be the glory! Alleluia, alleluia! Where in your life (lives) are you being called to “get dirty?” How is God showing you? What
are you planning to do about it? Where in our communal life of this parish are we being called to “get dirty?” To do something in the world? If God is showing you – go forth. Let us, Holy Cross be the light in this community—in this area of the North Carolina beach coast.