Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop (Matthew 13:8 NIV)
When my friend, Tony, recited his home address to me, it came with a lighthearted warning. "You're gonna laugh at the name of my road," he said, with his distinctive southern drawl.
He was right; I did laugh.
Tony lives on White Dirt Road.
The name is as amusing as it is conflicting. For one thing, the road is neither white in color or dirt in substance, but it is an actual road. It snakes along and under Interstate 77 in Dobson, North Carolina.
Somehow, I find it intriguing enough to sit down and write about it. Writer's brilliance perhaps? With me, it is probably writer's desperation.
After all, last month I failed to submit an article to this fine publication. When the submission deadline came, I chose to sit it out, having nothing significant to offer. Now, here I am writing about dirt.
On that particular topic, I believe it is safe to assume that whenever we think of dirt, the color white never enters our minds unless the ground is covered with snow.
Most likely, we envision the unattractive effects that dirt leaves on our human existence. We imagine crud and grime and smudges and stains that are anything but white.
That is what dirt does, but not exclusively.
Of this dirt, Jesus offered a parable saying there are essentially four different types of soil within those who have heard God's word. Three are unfavorable for planting, unsuitable for growing, incapable of producing.
But, one is good and healthy.
Unquestionably, the soil Jesus spoke of is a simple metaphor representing the heart of mankind. Your heart and mine is depicted by one of those soil types.
Conveniently, we have three biblical recordings to choose from in reading that illustration:
Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8
The message is that, of those four types, only one blend of soil is pure enough, rich enough, and fertile enough to yield godly fruit. Only this soil has enough depth to accommodate a root system. Only this soil contains the proper nutrients to allow growth. Only this soil is considered good.
It is a soil that is free of stones and thorns, a heart that is rid of debris and clutter. It is simply clean.
Call it white dirt if you wish.
Like David, let us pray for it unceasingly.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
(Psalm 51:10 KJV)
(This article was published in Pathway Christian Newspaper April 2013)