Redeem My Infertile Soil

June 23, 2014 by Amie Napier

A new vision of white and silver billows above the Town Center property.  Alongside the vegetables, a hoop house has also been planted this spring.  It’s a beautiful structure – the inside is a metallic, geometric skeleton, strung with a web of white twine.  Because the land beneath was still stale from its years as a parking lot, it was necessary to implant compost into rows of trenches.  The result was beautiful:  veins of living soil cut into the dry and weary land. Amie picture

The juicy metaphor is unavoidable:  my sin is the pavement broken away, my old habits are the poor soil, and God’s new life is in the nutrient-rich compost.  The struggle to grow beautiful soil on our land is perhaps a form of acting out the individual and holistic salvation of God’s love.  Fred Brahnson, in Making Peace With the Land, wrote “Our aim, then, is to point our attention back to the land, to say what a faithful life might look like and to show that the land – indeed the entire cosmos – is inextricably bound up in God’s salvation through Jesus Christ.”  Jesus came to redeem all things, to make all things new.  This includes vast, broken systems, broken people, and our exhausted environment.  As God’s people, we’re called to march toward Shalom, to restore justice where we are and embrace community and reconciliation.  For now, we do this by returning life to our little piece of earth in the form of smelly compost.

Lord God,

Redeem my infertile soul.  Scrape out my laziness, selfishness, vanity, pride, and weakness.

In its place, sow Your fruits, Your gentleness, empathy, joy, and love.

All redemption is found in You – please redeem me and guide me as I join in this beautiful effort to act on your call of Justice.  Be the salvation of our food and of our Earth.  Bring us together as we strive to walk in Your light and act in Your love.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.”