Unearthing Takes Hard Work
I’ve always loved dirt. Whether gardening in Grandma’s fertile California backyard, dishing up red-clay Alabama “mud-pies” with my sister, or slide-tackling on a soggy New York soccer field—there’s nothing like digging into the earth! Maybe that’s why I couldn’t resist joining the Megiddo Expedition as volunteer archaeologist. But I never anticipated the amazing volume of soil I would haul around by the barrow-full that sweltering summer. Nor had I imagined how close I’d be with my trusty trowel by the end of those excavation weeks.
Scrape after blessed scrape. Flecks of sand and rock flying everywhere. Dust in every orifice. Whenever supervisors came to examine progress in the dig square to which I was assigned, I welcomed the opportunity to stretch sore wrists while awaiting instructions: “good, now take it down another quarter inch.” We all ached for a hoe or pickax but such implements easily could shatter intact vessels or floor mosaics. So trowel we did, scraping for hours with blistered hands.
Spiritual life can feel similarly assiduous. Unearthing takes hard work. Some things must be revealed… others, jettisoned. At times we want God to break out heavy-duty tools, speeding along the undertaking. But the process itself can be freeing, as truth comes to light. Perfect love already has swept away the pain of the past. Relentless, Love transforms us all, gently removing every last impediment (including sediment!) until we, too, discover what God celebrates—we are all beloved children, priceless and redeemed, the apples of God’s eye.