Introducing Garden & Compost – it’s not what you think

I can’t remember the year or the speaker but in one of the Clergy Conferences in years past the speaker introduced the “compost pile” or “compost heap” as a metaphor of Christian spirituality, education, and formation. The image has become a favorite of mine and now I’m sharing it with you. Like all metaphors, “the garden and the compost pile,” requires imagination, and will break down if pushed too far. Use your “Spirit-fired” imagination to playfully explore the metaphor.

Every day (or almost every day) I will post several short paragraphs with links to articles read by me or recommended to me. It is my hope that you will find some of them interesting and you’ll “plant, water, and fertilize” them, nurturing them to grow and flower and bear fruit in “your garden.”

Other paragraphs and links will appear to be of no interest or use (a “weed” perhaps) and these will go on to the top of “your compost pile”–seemingly discarded–which leads to the beauty of the image of composting.

In God’s creation nothing is wasted. That which appears lifeless, useless, “done,” “waste,” holds energy and mystery and the potential for nurturing new life. Over time, turn your compost pile over, top to bottom, and water it, that’s all you really need to do. Other forces (the unconscious? grace? the Holy Spirit?) beyond your control are active in this compost pile so that over time (and with just a little attention from you) a rich soil is produced quite capable of fertilizing and enriching the plants in the garden. What seemed to be dead and useless is composted into something rich and life-enhancing.

Play with the image yourself. Follow this blog. Maintain your garden. Attend, now and then, to your compost pile. Ask questions, recommend items to read or view, leave comments (think of these as catalysts for the composting activity going on), let’s create a rich soil for sustaining (spiritual) growth.


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