Articles by Stan Dean

The “Clean” Side Of Dirt

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I read an article the other day about people who eat dirt. No, I am not talking about some residue of soil that may not get completely cleaned from a potato or carrot. I am talking about people who intentionally and deliberately eat a helping of dirt daily. There is even a name for this practice, “geophagy.”


Apparently, the practice of geophagy or dirt eating is much more common than you might think. Researchers at Cornell University say that more than 480 cultural accounts have been documented encompassing every country in the world. They did not endorse dirt eating as a new fad diet, but they did add that several soil tests had concluded that it was generally not harmful.


Maybe so, but the article left me without an appetite for a while and almost speechless. The only words that I came up with were: “yuk,” “gross” and “you’ve got to be kidding.” And even if it is not harmful to the body, it is safe to say that I will not be adding dirt to my mid-afternoon snack list.


Nevertheless, as I thought about what I had read for a while I started thinking that as much as we try to keep from getting dirty- - dirt really does have a “clean” side. To illustrate, once there was a young girl walking through a garden and an extraordinarily beautiful flower caught her eye. She was drawn to its radiant colors and had to touch its petals and smell its fragrance.


As she traced the shape of the flower with her eyes she moved down the stem to the ground. “This flower is much too pretty to be planted in dirt,” she said to herself, so she pulled it up and ran to a faucet to wash away the soil. Of course, it did not take long for the flower to wilt and die. When the gardener saw what the little girl had done, he asked why she pulled it from the ground.


“I didn’t like it in that dirt” she answered. He replied, “But you destroyed my finest flower! I chose that spot and mixed the soil because I knew that only there could it grow to be a beautiful flower.”
It may seem to you that your life is rooted in dirt. It may be that you wish to be somewhere different. But have you ever considered that the Master Gardener planted you there because it is where the full potential of your beauty can blossom the most? Well, it just could be! (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10).


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