What is dirt?
1. Dirt = earth, ground, organic stuff. This is the stuff of creation. The Nitty-Gritty Dirt God, who made life and makes life possible, made it all. God is why the environment, sustainable agriculture, proper use of natural resources, and earth-stewardship are central to Christian faith.
That’s dirt. But, there is more. Here’s the dirt on dirt.
2. Dirt is also stuff of our lives – the stuff I bury deep down inside. The stuff I don’t want to deal with. The stuff I don’t want other people to see.
God knows my dirt. In fact, when I’m dealin’ with my dirt, I feel and understand the need for God the most. The shame I carry around – often so deep, I don’t realize I have it – buried deep, but there in my thoughts and decisions. But not just shame. There’s the fear, embarrassment, hurt, and mistakes. Think even of the freakin’ possiblity of making a mistake ~ big time. Skrewing up a friendship, or a ministry opportunity, or job. Saying the wrong thing. Or, so fed up, you don’t care anymore. Isn’t that what holds so many of us down – or makes us run away, escape, and pretend we’re too proud to care? It’s a shame.
Who’s got the dirt on you?
Dirt is the stuff that rules our lives and relationships. This dirt is spiritual. Especially in white middle-class America-dom. Appearence is everything, and its best not to have any dirt – or have so much it, no one takes you seriously. That’s dirt on us. We pretty people.
Either way, dealing with the dirt is nasty. Makes you feel dirty. (Now that word packs alot of different meanings!)
But, God knows my dirt. God holds me accountable for it, but also calls me out of it – to freedom. It’s not freedom from my dirt. I know alot of people preach and believe that. But, I just haven’t found that to be true. The freedom I’ve found in Jesus is the freedom to live and love…in spite of my dirt. And, others’.
Let me try to say it this way. This is my testimony: The dirt on God is that all that God loves about you and me – all that God put in you and asks of you – comes through the dirt. In fact, the dirt makes you, YOU – and God, GOD. And, there’s no shame in it. In fact, this is true freedom.
God’s in the dirt. God comes through it – not only the dirt of our lives, but also the literal dirt – the cosmic dust, the billion-year-old carbon (thanks Joni Mitchell, CSN) – that God put together and breathed life into.
Everything is spiritual. The Nitty-Gritty Dirt God is lord of all.