Manure or Fertilizer – Your Choice

Manure or Fertilizer – Your Choice

This summer at church camp my husband, Mark, facilitated “DIRT” class. (Discussions in Religious Theory). The theme for camp was Christmas and their discussions focused on the gifts brought to Jesus at the time of his birth. One of the discussions was “gifts from God”. The children and youth ranged from 6 -15. As Mark reflected on the experience, he related parts of the conversations and what these children and youth named as gifts from God. They included things like:

“When my parents split up”, the child who named this went on to explain that when his parents split up happiness became the norm. “When I’m with my mom now it is happy. When I am with my dad its happy.”

Death. Some questioned how this could be a gift. As conversation continued it was named that sometimes death is a release and freedom from pain and suffering and this is good.

The earth that provides us with a home

The food we have to nourish our bodies



In the relating of this experience I was reminded, as I often am, that a child will lead us.

Manure or Fertilizer – Your Choice

Life can be difficult. We are surrounded by things that we know to be evil and it an overtake us. In the midst of this it can be almost impossible to see the blessings and gifts that surround us. Some situations, while difficult, even tragic, can hold within them moments of deep truth, release and even joy. Perhaps these things are not immediately recognized but instead come to light over time. Perhaps it is about how we take these situations and react to them. One of my favourite sayings is “Shit happens” and we have a choice. We either allow it to remain a pile of manure that builds and emits toxic gasses, taking over our environment or we spread it out allowing to become fertilizer that feeds the soil of our souls enabling us to grow and change. I think that this is what Jesus meant in the Sermon on the Mount. There, he spoke of the blessings that come in good times and in bad.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessings are not equated with happiness, rather they are nuggets of wisdom, insight, wonder, joy, challenge, renewal, assurances that come our way even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties.

May you know these blessings in the midst of your life; may you be nourished and held and know that you are loved.


© 2019 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury. All rights reserved

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