From junk to funk, how compost gave me perspective.

A handful of compost
Image via Wikipedia

Today’s thoughts have centered around compost.  I know, right.  What a lovely thing to think about.  Maybe it’s my garden calling out for its annual safety layer or the fact that people within my home are currently creating compost from within (they’ve been ill) , but it’s quite amazing to me how God designed compost to work.

Gardens provide grace because they can utilize our junk and left-over bits and produce beauty with it.  It reminds me of a Bible verse I adore, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) 

As we continue this faith journey to create Christ-centered families, it’s vital to remember our imperfection can still result in God’s perfection.  He does with us what He does with compost.  Because of Him, beauty is created.

Now, I probably should explain this premise to all non-gardeners reading this post.  Two years ago I decided to purchase a compost bin.  I read up on the process and began to become a composter.  There was definite trust involved in this process.  According to the gardeners who taught me, if you mixed it properly (brown stuff, green stuff, water, brown stuff, green stuff, water) then you occasionally mixed it, over time a compost bin would produce rich, nutrient packed compost to aid in garden development.  Let’s be clear here.  Brown stuff consists of dirt, old newspapers, paper bags, and dried leaves.  Green stuff can include grass clippings, some plant clippings, old left over vegetable parts, egg shells, left over fruit bits, and the like.

In our home, we placed a bowl on the side of the counter.  After a meal, the parts that would help create compost were tossed in the bowl.  It looked like garbage.  If it sat for a while, it smelled like garbage.  Let’s be honest, it wreaked.  My husband thought I had installed our own garbage dump near our home, but I trusted those master gardeners.  I couldn’t imagine how it worked.  Yet, I believed that somehow beauty would develop from this stench.

Over the course of several months, I practiced pouring my garbage into the compost bin in proper order and keeping it all moist.  Bugs gathered.  The gardeners declared the presence of bugs a blessing.  I was grossed out,  but I continued.

When the allotted wait time had arrived, I stirred the pot, so to speak.  Pushing aside the incomplete top-level, I dug deep into the compost bin to discover this fluffy, brown soil.  It held no large chunks of debris.   Fresh compost emerged!  It wasn’t much, but I was ecstatic.  Shoveling it into my wheel barrow, I scooped it into the garden.  That year, we had an amazing crop of tomatoes.  Junk and smelly left-overs produced beauty.

It’s the same in our families as we commit our ways to serving Christ.  We have issues.  Our plans won’t be perfect, but our Lord is.  He can take our junk and smelly left-overs and develop within us and our children an amazing kind of beauty.

Jesus had a response for people stumped by the possibilities of God in Mark 10:27, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”


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