Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's More Ordinary Than Dirt?

“Dirt cheap… Dirt poor… Common as dirt …”

This is how we see dirt or soil—very ordinary and of little intrinsic value. We are programmed in our minds to look at dirt as so ordinary that we see it as just about the most worthless thing on the planet.

But Jesus sees dirt differently and He uses the metaphor of soil for what He values the most, what He sees as extraordinary in this world—a good heart.

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15)

Good soil in the natural realm contains the right combination of minerals and nutrients from dead, decaying plant material to provide food for future seeds and plant life. It has a rich aromatic smell that an expert gardener or farmer recognizes as ideal for productivity.

When a seed is planted in this good soil and the encased shell is broken open by the soil’s moisture the miracle of life begins to grow and shortly after reproduce. When the seed of God’s word is planted in the heart of a good-hearted person who has experienced wounds and “deaths” in his past, God’s life bursts forth.

A good-hearted friend of mine named Tom loves to race dirt bikes on weekends as a hobby. (A pretty dirty hobby at that!) He felt led to pray for a particular man he met on the track and that man opened up to him and shared some deep pain. Tom spent over an hour telling the man his own story of wounds and what God has done through a couple of healing ministries he has been involved with and fellowship with some other Christian men, to produce God’s Life in him out of the many “deaths” of his past.

Months later he saw his racing friend again and the man’s countenance was different. Tom’s transparency and willingness to share some deep wounds of his past encouraged his friend to seek out similar help. He was no longer in the despair over his past but had discovered the same hope for himself. Tom had simply told his story and kept this man in his prayers.

As Tom relayed this story in our men’s Bible study group, his face was filled with joy that God could use him, an “ordinary guy” to have such a significant impact upon another, simply by being himself, inside and outside, “dirt” and all!

As Tom shared this with the other men in the group, he didn’t realize the impact his story had on the rest of us. I felt tears starting to well up in me. This is what Jesus was talking about when he spoke of “good soil.”

This dirt is gloriously ordinary but enriched by the things considered worthless and full of death. These things could be abuse, addiction or some darkness from the past. When these experiences are put into the hands of Jesus they become places where His resurrection life can be planted, take root and be wonderfully displayed.

Celebrating God’s Glorious Dirt,


Note: Do you have any stories of God’s Glory showing up in the ordinary? I would love to hear them and share them with a larger audience if you would like! Just email me at (

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Jon Sween said...

Wonderful story Jamie. God births new life out of brokenness.

Kevin said...


Thanks for sharing your blog and a verse that has so much significance in many peoples lives.Especially those who have needed a little tilling up.