I Got Caught Dirty Handed

Because when I garden, I don’t wear gloves. Maybe it’s because I love the feel of the soil between my fingers. Perhaps the fact that I saw an earthworm as I was planting my tulip bulbs didn’t really freak me out too much since, you know, I live in the country and all. Even though I didn’t jump up and start screamin’ like a fool, I did chop his head off. And the thing just kept movin’. The nerve. The truth of the matter referring to gardening is that I will probably never wear gloves. I need to get in there. To feel the soil. To mesh the Oklahoma red clay with the potting soil so that my plants are full of nutrients.  To get the occasional splinter from the mulch as I put it in place to protect what I’ve planted. Ministry is a lot like gardening. There can be some amazing events that are witnessed as we minister to others…saved lives, redeemed marriages, healed bodies, transformed mindsets. And these things delight the eyes of those around much like the blooms of petunias or begonias. But we don’t always realize how dirty ones hands must get to see such unbelievable things occur. I wonder how many mothers and grandmothers prayed for those lives to be saved. I wonder how many couples have reached out to walk hurting couples through difficulties in their marriages. I wonder how many prayer warriors have stood beside a hospital bed pleading with God to bring wholeness to a sick body. And I wonder how many counselors have helped people walk in freedom from detrimental mindsets. I wonder. Yes, ministry is a lot like gardening. Figure my hands will stay dirty for the rest of my days. What about you? 

19 thoughts on “I Got Caught Dirty Handed”

  1. Good thoughts….and you may have the occasional “splinter” that comes from someone who is hurt and wants to hurt back.

    Still like that feel and smell of soil…..even with the bugs 🙂

  2. I loved this analogy (even though I was born with anything but a green thumb… I can’t even sustain house plants) and it has challenged me to be mindful of what is behind the “blooms” I’m seeing here in South Africa.

  3. I love your pretty flowers.

    I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. Didn’t Jesus give us a way to clean them when the work was done with one, so that we could start over again with another one?

  4. What an amazing post! I myself am not a gardener in the natural (hate worms and dirt is just gross – I’m a city girl). However, I can say one thing about the spiritual gardening – yes it can be dirty work but we have to shake the dirt off and make sure it doesn’t cling to us when we find ourselves in the trenches. 🙂

  5. thanks for this reminder. the past few days have been really hard for me (in terms of leadership in ministry) and my thoughts were reeling with “i can’t do this in anymore”. i know the bloom will come from the dirt i’m in now, even though i can’t see it yet.

  6. Cindy, I have to tell you, I had an awesome day today and even still your comment on my Exemplify blog was the highlight! I love reading your blog and was thrilled you stopped by and visited mine! : ) It was like a little blog treat for me.

    I’m a dork. But that is okay.

    <3, Kristen

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