Mys­tery of dirt

The Tatura Guardian - - Local Classies - — Brian Spencer, Min­is­ter, Tatura Unit­ing Church

I’ve been dig­ging a lot of holes lately. Trenches to be ex­act. To lay poly-pipe to carry wa­ter around the prop­erty.

My prob­lem is that when I go to put the dirt back in the hole that it came from there is never enough to fill the hole and I’m left with a de­pres­sion along the trench line.

It’s not that I’m care­less, I try to keep track of the dirt that I’ve taken out of the hole, I try to re­fill it as soon as pos­si­ble, but how­ever I do it, there is never enough dirt left to fill the hole back to the level it was to be­gin with. Where does the ex­tra dirt go? My sci­en­tific ap­proach to this sit­u­a­tion has me hy­poth­e­sise that ei­ther there should be enough dirt to fill the hole to the level it was at be­fore, or more likely, have ex­cess dirt thanks to what­ever I planted or put in the hole tak­ing up ex­tra space and the formerly com­pacted soil now hav­ing ad­di­tional air and the lumps stop­ping the dirt from fill­ing the hole as neatly as it was be­fore I dug it out.

So my rea­son­ing says that there should be more than enough dirt to fill the hole, but there isn’t.

It ap­pears to me that more dirt than I think must be scat­tered or get caught in the ground around the hole.

Per­haps my com­pacted soil isn’t as com­pacted as I thought.

Maybe it al­ready has air holes from worms and bugs etc.

I’ve read that some peo­ple be­lieve that the moon, through its ro­ta­tion around the earth and its ef­fect on our grav­ity, could af­fect how loose dirt goes back into a trench. But that seems far-fetched. I’ve de­cided that prob­lem is not with the dirt; the prob­lem is with me.

I want to able to dig around, bury my pipe and then have ev­ery­thing re­turn to nor­mal with­out any trace of what I have done.

The truth is th­ese lit­tle dips in the ground are nei­ther dan­ger­ous nor detri­men­tal.

They are sim­ply scars in the ground and I’ve de­cided to think of them the same way I re­gard the scars on my arms, hands and legs.

Most peo­ple ac­cu­mu­late a num­ber of scars on their body as the re­sult of in­juries and ac­ci­dents through their life.

Part of me would like the skin to heal with­out a scar, but that is not the way our bod­ies work. Each of my scars tells a story. As I look at them I re­mem­ber times, places and peo­ple and of­ten the mo­ment that that skin and flesh were torn. They have be­come part of my story. Most of us also carry emo­tional scars from life’s hurts and hard­ships.

Some­times the body heals bet­ter than the soul.

Scars are not shame­ful, they say we have lived.

They are healed wounds, not run­ning sores.

When Je­sus reap­peared to the dis­ci­ples af­ter his crucifixion and res­ur­rec­tion, we read that ‘‘he showed them his hands and his feet.’’ (Luke 24:40).

I sup­pose it would not have been sur­pris­ing if the res­ur­rected Je­sus had mirac­u­lously healed with­out scars, but the scars proved he was the same Je­sus whom they had fol­lowed and that pain and suf­fer­ing are not to be avoided, but trans­formed.

The apos­tle Paul put it this way; ‘‘We a pressed on ev­ery side by trou­bles, but not crushed. We are per­plexed, but not driven to de­spair. We are hunted down, but never aban­doned by God. We get knocked down, but are never de­stroyed. Through suf­fer­ing, our bod­ies con­tinue to share in the death of Je­sus so that the life of Je­sus may also be seen in our bod­ies.’’ 2 Corinthi­ans 4: 8-10

This is the gospel, and it’s good news.

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