A Rock Home Companion: on being kin to dirt
This week it was go to the farm and get really dirty day, so we went to a big barn, in flip-flops no less, and checked out all kinds of furry, loud, strange-parted creatures. I didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, which makes me really sad at myself. Growing up around farmy beasts really did broaden my educational scope. It didn’t take me long to figure out the birds and the bees when it was actually the cows and the horses. You know what I mean?
Isaac and his best buddy, Silas got to see a milk cow suctioned with a pump. All the milk slurped into a jar, and my best buddy and I said, “Ouch! Remember that?”
Jude spent the entire time ignoring all the amazing animals, even the strange white turkey that didn’t have any claws that looked pumped with Clorox. All Jude cared about was the dirt floor. We left with it in his shoes, hair, and pockets.
The day that all America’s air got in a big fight over the South, Northwest Arkansas turned creepy. It would pour rain for ten minutes and then peal back and let the sun glisten off the water. It was too appealing for little boys, one in particular. He just feels more like himself when he’s a little dirty, wearing very few clothes.
Little brother, too, has to follow along. Every time I dry his clothes, several handfuls of trucks, grass, and rocks jump out of my dryer. I have a bucket on the dryer just for little boy junk, and when they find the bucket, they act like they’ve found treasures.
This is my blessed life. These pictures are proof, yet I have a friend on the other side of the world, and she watches me from my blog. I watch her from her blog. We both see the other thriving, all smiles, but then we speak on the phone and we remember who we really are again as friends – just needy, mostly low friends, who love each other, even when the pictures say we have it all together.
I don’t have much together right now. I told a friend the other day how beautiful she is. She looked me straight in the face and said, “thank you, but it’s just an appearance.” Ah, I thought. I understand exactly what you’re saying.
There is this one who comes in my home wearing pink, my doll baby who isn’t mine. I thought taking care of her was going to make me a better person. I thought I would change her life, and she would change mine. But it’s not happening that way. I find myself again digging at my roots to see what I really am, all frail, only dirt with breath of life. A long time ago, a thought-bulb planted in deep, and as it grows, it tells me that the more I work, the more qualified I am, the better graces I’ll have.
Works-based righteousness is a tricky root to do away with.
I am a mother who fears confessing the struggle. I fear being questioned, but there comes a day when being tired outdoes the fear, so I confess it. There are days in the life of a young mother that can be very very dark, even when we stand as best we can in truth, even with the sword of words in hand, even when we hash it out in prayer. If we live in skin, we find ourselves in the dark place.
It’s muddy Spring, and the air is live with metaphor, the dirt even. Then why are you downcast, soul? Why so disturbed? Because, Hope feels different when it’s found in the dark. When praise is coupled with YET, with ‘even in this’, when we call Him Savior God, yet even in the dark places, He is Great GOD indeed.
I know there is nowhere I can go that He’s not there – He who breathes life even into the dirt.