mike lives in spokane washington and is a pastor at a spirit community called branches

Dirt Part 3: Becoming Gardeners (Again)

Dirt Part 3: Becoming Gardeners (Again)

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Things progress. At least that’s the intent life has for them. 

We grow and we learn and we see and we discover and we hurt and we cry and we evolve.

That’s life. 

And sometimes the growth is good. 

We become more educated. We move up in our jobs. We learn to love after the heartbreak.

But sometimes all the so called growth actually pulls us away from what we are initially made to be.

Agree with him or not, Charles Darwin is a man with an incredible ability to observe and form logical and coherent theory from his observation. 

He recognized that birds who had different eating habits would develop biologically in such a way that they could better have access to the food they needed. 

He observed different characteristics of species in different geographic locations and how they differentiated, even if only slightly, to better their ability for survival.

His theory of evolution, at its core, is that things grow to better their species. And that’s a foundation that I would hope anyone could readily observe through the simple act of living life.

But the interesting thing is that we come from dirt.

We come from the sustainer of life.

And yet we’ve evolved to go the opposite direction.

Instead of accepting all, we’ve dualized the world. Seeing this as bad, that as good.

Dirt, our origins - whether you look at it biologically or religiously - does the exact opposite. 

It lets the weed grow along side the rose.

So in order to get back to what we were initially founded on, places housing life, what should we do?

Perhaps we could start by opening our eyes. 

Looking at this world. Walking around and seeing how there is so, so, SO much life bursting forth. 

All those green things you see growing, those colored flowers dancing in fields, those magnificent trees playing host to animals and summer shade…

They all have one singular home.

Dirt.

Look around some more. All those people who are different than you.

People who have different sexual preferences or race or gender or background…

They are just as diverse as the differing species in the dirt that you see all around.

We are made of dirt.

And dirt accepts all.

So why shouldn’t we accept all as well?

It’s where we come from. A foundation built on the premise of being the housing ground for all life.

And even through all our progress as a species, we’ve forgotten one incredibly important thing…

Where we come from. 

A place that doesn’t discriminate.

A place that doesn’t question.

But a place that will house any and all things that provide life for the ecosystem.

Regardless of what they look like, smell like, taste like. 

In the tale of Adam and Eve there’s a tree. A tree that holds the knowledge of Good and Evil.

Adam and Eve are told that they have access to this huge far-reaching garden. Everything in it. All the wonderful plants and shelter they could ask for.

Except the fruit of that tree. 

And, as you may have heard, they ate that fruit.

Many people focus on the fact that they disobeyed God and that that’s why they were banished from the garden. But really it’s because they tried to be God.

By eating from the tree that provided the knowledge of what was good and what was evil, Adam and Eve strayed from what they were intended for… People who lived in harmony and coexistence and brought forth life and tended to life.

That’s why they were in a garden. And the garden was a place that embodied inclusivity. And it was all housed in a bed of dirt. The same dirt man was initially crafted out of.

Whether you look at it scientifically or spiritually. 

So how about instead of continuing to eat that fruit where we play God and divide things categorically, we get back to our original purpose - being specimens who evolved from the dirt. The housing ground of all life.

And now we have this great opportunity to be human, dirt specimens, the ones in charge of tending to and continuing to grow all that life. 

Let’s stop pulling "weeds," but find ways to draw out the beauty they might have. Let’s recognize and encourage the garden of diversity that’s all around us. Found in people who are different than we are, in any way we can imagine.

And instead of being divisive and dualistic, let’s tend to the flourishing of all those lives.

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