The Dark and Earthy

I John 3:2b, Romans 8:18-30

Know your earthly origins (humous, earthliness, humility)
and don’t pretend to holiness.
So you’re a mess – you’re a mess under construction,
under repair and restoration, still being birthed and created.

The contractions of your Mother’s labor
affect you as you are pushed and molded.
Planted and coached by your Father,
you draw life from the pain and effort and sweat, the powerful puffs and pants of breath that birthing produces,
the joy, the miracle, the child, the love, the creation:

So do not ignore your sin, your so-called “ugly, dark side,”
which has much to teach you about your gifts
and about the way and work of Love.

Jealousy and bossiness can show you
the work you are avoiding that God calls you to do.
Anger can teach you
where you have allowed God’s child – Yourself –
to be snatched from your rightful inheritance.

There can be no wholeness without your own contribution.
Your enemies know not what they do,
just as you, in your lack of discernment,
and in your fear of confrontation,
do not realize that wisdom and honesty
are both your right and your obligation
toward the goal of wholeness:
part of letting your walls fall,
part of losing your life by losing your fear and defenses.

Guilt reminds you that you are not God,
that falling short of making things whole and right,
and preventing pain, mean only that
your thoughts are not God’s thoughts,
your goals are not God’s goals,
your ways are not God’s ways,
your powers are not God’s powers.

Or, perhaps, that they are!
After all, has any creation of God emerged whole and right,
free of the investment of God’s own persistent, patient pain?

So who are you, earthling, to escape –
you who are under construction,
you who are under repair and restoration,
you who are still becoming a new creation?


© 1996


About Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith has 20 years’ experience in technical writing and management in software companies. She also has more than 20 years in Christian ministry as an educator, course designer, retreat leader, spiritual director, pastor, and coach. A United Methodist Deacon, Smith has her M.Div. from Boston University. She is a graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, and is certified in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Leadership from Boston College.
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One Response to The Dark and Earthy

  1. I love the compassion with which you challenge us all here. Thanks!

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