Vander's Thoughts

Vander's Thoughts

Monday, May 23, 2016


[In memory of Geraldine Vander Dussen]

My mom loved dirt. Now let me be clear, my mom didn’t like dirt in the house because dirt inside a Dutch home is a really bad thing. Growing up you never wanted to hear mom ask, “who tracked dirt in here?” because you knew you were trouble if you were the one who got dirt in the house. But my mom loved the dirt that she worked with.

Dirt was a sanctuary for my mom and that is where she taught me to love it too. She taught me to work in it in the cool of the morning when the dirt released it’s warmth into my hands. She taught me to turn the dirt and to make sure it always was prepared to enrich whatever was planted in it. She taught me to water and moisten dirt regularly so that roots could grow deep and plants could grow strong. And the most important aspect of dirt was to keep it weed free, because weeds rob other plants of life. My mom loved dirt because she discovered the beauty that emerges from dirt in the form of a flower or the flavors of vegetables, even the shade a tree provides is only possible because of dirt. Mom loved dirt because she loved God.

God loves dirt too. Dirt is the foundation of life. God used dirt to form us out of His great creation. God wants to enrich our lives with His presence. God instructs us to keep our lives saturated with His words to grow us deep and strong. God reminds us to keep our lives free from the weeds that rob us all of life. And when we love dirt like He does and the way mom did, we see the beauty and brilliance of life the way God intended us to live it.  

That’s why Mom was the perfect reflection of a life that loved dirt. She radiated the love and compassion of Christ through all that she did. She brought a fragrance and a radiance into this world because of her love for God. A fragrance and life that will be deeply missed, but will resonate through the lives she touched with her love. And because mom let Christ take care of the dirt that she “tracked” into her life, she is planted firmly in the soil of eternity. And for that reason l too love dirt, it gives me great hope for today and for all eternity.

I hope you learn to love dirt like my mom taught me to love dirt.