Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth

We celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus yesterday with ecstatic hymns and prayers.  This celebration is the culmination of Holy Week and the beginning of the Easter Season.  Alleluia!

The Church is replete with Resurrection symbols, the empty cross, the empty tomb, butterflies, eggs, the pomegranate, bees, the rising sun, and lilies, are among them.  The ant is a symbol for me.  Every spring when the deep earth gets to a certain temperature or the sun shines in an enticing way, ants emerge from the dirt.  They’ve been there all winter living in underground tunnels on stored food.  Suddenly their volcanic cone-shaped mounds appear.  I usually notice them on the cracks of sidewalks.  The color varies according to the color of the dirt. Their life has been hidden and then appears.  I forget about them the rest of the year; yet, they are alive and working.

Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth is the title of a favorite book.  It points out the vital activity of the earth and the surprises it holds. It isn’t just “dirt” but life, an ecological niche, a nursery for fungi, seeds and animals of all sorts. It is one of the major wonders of God.  Within this ecstatic skin, often deep within, all manner of life is engaged in resurrection work.

We often try to clean up the dirt of our lives.  What if we viewed it as a source of prayer, a challenge to embrace, part of the Resurrection?  The Holy Spirit is within us deep down within us, often hidden and unknown to us like the ants, interceding for us in our weakness, our ignorance and our resistance..  When the time is right it will emerge like the ants to show us tangible proof of God’s energy and grace like the Resurrection of Jesus has done for centuries.

Meditate on Romans 8:18-28 as a resurrection story. Follow the example of the ants and come forth to celebrate.

About harriettesturges

I am a deacon at St. Alban's Parish in Washington, DC and a contributor to the Daily Cup.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Harriette H. Sturges and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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